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Antrodia is a genus of fungi in the family Fomitopsidaceae. Antrodia species have fruiting bodies that typically lie flat or spread out on the growing surface, with the hymenium exposed to the outside; the edges may be turned so as to form narrow brackets. Most species are found in temperate and boreal forests, and cause brown rot. Some of the species in this genus are have medicinal properties, and have been used in Taiwan as a Traditional medicine.

 

 

Description

Antrodia are effused-resupinate, that is, they lie stretched out on the growing surface with the hymenium exposed on the outer side, but turned out at the edges to form brackets. When present, these brackets are typically white or pale brown. The pores on the surface of the hymenium may be round or angular. The context is white or pale. All species cause brown-rot. Typically, basidiospores are thin-walled, cylindrical, and narrowly ellipsoidal or fusiform in shape.[2] Most species grow on the wood of coniferous trees, except for A. albida, with grows the dead wood on deciduous trees.[3]

Medicinal properties

Antrodia includes some medicinal fungi such as Antrodia camphorata; this species in particular is well-known and highly valued as a medicinal mushroom in Taiwan (known as Niu-Chang), where it is commonly used as an anti-cancer, anti-itching, anti-allergy, anti-fatigue,[4] and liver protective drug in Taiwanese Traditional medicine.[5] Also, the water extract of A. camphorata mycelia grown in liquid culture has antioxidant and anticancer properties,[6] while A. camphorata is known to slows the growth of human breast cancer cells.[7] However, it is relatively unknown outside of Taiwan and virtually unknown in the Western world.[8]

In order to reliably identify the various species and strains of medicinal Antrodia, genetic markers have been developed and phylogenetic analyses performed.[9] This analysis showed that there are three distinct phylogenetic lineages with the Antrodia genus.

 

Written on February 10th, 2012 , Botany, Mycology Tags:

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