African Journal of Biotechnology

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The cultivation, bioactive components and pharmacological effects of Armillaria mellea

LW Gao, WY Li, YL Zhao, JW Wang


Armillaria mellea, a symbiotic fungus in the underground tubers of Chinese medicinal orchid Gastrodia elata, is one of the main biological active components and pharmaceutical effects of its host gastrodia. The purpose of this review is to bring attention to the biological properties of this unique A. mellea mushroom and its constituents, as well as to suggest the potential for the development of new drugs related to this fungus. It contains various known and untapped bioactive metabolites such as
polysaccharides, sesquiterpene aryl esters, steroids and fibrinolytic enzymes. It could be exploited as an important source of new biological natural products with anticonvulsant, immunomodulatory and
antimicrobial functions. The batch culture is preferred as an alternative means of getting bioactive components from Armellaria fermentation. Challenges in investigations on A. mellea include the optimization of culture parameters, the further elucidation of the molecular pharmacological mechanism and relationship between structure and function of their secondary metabolites.

AJOL African Journals Online