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Isolation, Culture and Characterization of Hirsutella sinensis Mycelium from Caterpillar Fungus Fruiting Body
PLoS One
  • Yun-Fei Komi, Chang Gung Biotechnology Corporation
  • Jian-Ching Liau, Chang Gung Biotechnology Corporation
  • Chien-Sheng Lee, Chang Gung Biotechnology Corporation
  • Chen-Yaw Chiu, Ming Chi University of Technology
  • Jan Martel, Chang Gung University
  • Chuan-Sheng Lin, Chang Gung University
  • Shan-Fu Tseng, Chang Gung University
  • David M. Ojcius, University of the Pacific
  • Chia-Chen Lu, Chang Gung University
  • Hsin-Chih Lai, Chang Gung University
  • John Ding-E. Young, Chang Gung University
David M. Ojcius: 0000-0003-1461-4495
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The caterpillar fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis (previously called Cordyceps sinensis) has been used for centuries in Asia as a tonic to improve health and longevity. Recent studies show that O. sinensis produces a wide range of biological effects on cells, laboratory animals and humans, including anti-fatigue, anti-infection, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-tumor activities. In view of the rarity of O. sinensis fruiting bodies in nature, cultivation of its anamorph mycelium represents a useful alternative for large-scale production. However, O. sinensis fruiting bodies harvested in nature harbor several fungal contaminants, a phenomenon that led to the isolation and characterization of a large number of incorrect mycelium strains. We report here the isolation of a mycelium from a fruiting body of O. sinensis and we identify the isolate as O. sinensis’ anamorph (also called Hirsutella sinensis) based on multi-locus sequence typing of several fungal genes (ITS, nrSSU, nrLSU, RPB1, RPB2, MCM7, β-tubulin, TEF-1α, and ATP6). The main characteristics of the isolated mycelium, including its optimal growth at low temperature (16°C) and its biochemical composition, are similar to that of O. sinensis fruiting bodies, indicating that the mycelium strain characterized here may be used as a substitute for the rare and expensive O. sinensis fruiting bodies found in nature.


Article e0168734

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Citation Information
Yun-Fei Komi, Jian-Ching Liau, Chien-Sheng Lee, Chen-Yaw Chiu, et al.. "Isolation, Culture and Characterization of Hirsutella sinensis Mycelium from Caterpillar Fungus Fruiting Body" PLoS One Vol. 12 Iss. 1 (2017) p. 1 - 21 ISSN: 1932-6203
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