ArticlePDF Available

Auricularia spp. - mushrooms as Novel Food and therapeutic agents - a review

Authors:

Abstract

Mushrooms have been known for their nutritional and culinary values for ages. Nowadays, many species are recognized as functional dietary supplements. Among them, cultivated species of the genus Auricularia (A. auricula-judae, A. polytricha, A. fuscosuccinea) are primarily considered, because of their economic importance, especially in Asian countries, as well as the wide spectrum of their pro-health properties, including antitumor, cholesterol-lowering, anticoagulant, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. Pharmacologically active compounds in Auricularia spp. include non-starch polysaccharides, polysaccharide-protein and polysaccharide-peptide complexes. In this paper, the current state of knowledge on nutritional value and active compounds characteristics, together with extraction methods and pharmacological activity of cultivated Auricularia mushrooms is discussed. Biological characteristics and folk medicine usage of the species are also presented. This review supports the hypothesis that polysaccharides extracted from mushrooms have significant therapeutic potential and represent a rich source of novel compounds of pharmacological value for future investigations.
Sydowia
An International Journal of Mycology
Volume 67 Issued December 15 2015
Se˛kara A., kaliSz A., GrabowSka A. & SiwulSki M.
Auricularia spp. – mushrooms as Novel
Food and therapeutic agents – a review ....... 1
DaS K., Chakraborty D., baGhela A., SinGh S.
K. & DentinGer B. T. M.
Boletus lakhanpalii, a new species in Bole-
taceae from Sikkim (India) with uncertain-
phylogenetic placement ................................. 11
kumar S. & SinGh R.
Passalora musicola, sp. nov. – a new Indian
hyphomycete ................................................... 21
Filippini E., QuiroGa G., roDriGuez J. M. &
eStrabou C.
The genus Hyperphyscia (Physciaceae, As-
comycota) in Argentina .................................. 25
Villani A., Galli E., paCiolla C., Stea G.,
loG-
rieCo A. F., SiniSCalCo C., mulè G. & SuSCa A.
Molecular characterization of Pleurotus
eryngii varieties occurring in Italy ............... 33
DenG Ch.Y., antonín V. , wen T.-Ch., li T-H.
Marasmius ssuratus, a new species from
Northeast China ............................................. 45
kušan I., matoCˇeC N., mešiC´ A. & tkalCˇeC Z.
A new species of Thecotheus from Croatia
with a key to the known species with apicu-
late spores ....................................................... 51
Sharma V. P., kamal S. & kumar S.
 Geneticdiversity,enzymeprolesandyield
loss due to Cladobotryum isolates associat-
ed with cob web disease of edible mush-
rooms ............................................................... 65
wartChow F.
Amanita tenacipulvis, a new species from
Amazonian campinarana .............................. 75
CrouS P. W., SChumaCher R. K., winGFielD M. J.,
lombarD L., GiralDo A., ChriStenSen M.,
GarDiennet A., nakaShima Ch., pereira O.
L., Smith A. J. & GroenewalD J. Z.
Fungal Systematics and Evolution: FUSE 1 81
trejo D., Guzmán G., lara L., zulueta R.,
palenzuela J., SánChez-CaStro I., alVeS Da
SilVa G., SieVerDinG E. & oehl F.
Morphology and phylogeny of Acaulospora
foveata (Glomeromycetes) from Mexico ....... 119
pan Y., lianG X. & Fan Q.
Study on the primary metabolites of Myce-
na dendrobii, a fungus stimulating the ger-
mination of Gastrodia elata .......................... 127
meShramV. , Gupta M. & Saxena S.
Muscodor ghoomensis and Muscodor indi-
ca: new endophytic species based on mor-
phological features and molecular and vol-
atile organic analysis from Northeast India 133
GomeS Da SilVa SantoS M., bezerra J. D. P., Sve-
deSe V. M ., SouSa M. A., VaSConCeloS Da SilVa
D. C., maCiel M. de H. C., paiVa L. M., porto
A. L. F. & Souza-motta C. M.
Screening of endophytic fungi from cactus
of the Brazilian tropical dry forest accord-
ing to their L-asparaginase activity ............. 147
šeVCˇíkoVá H. & boroViCˇka J.
Pluteus occipes, a new species from the
Czech Republic ............................................... 157
Sharma V. P. , upaDhyay R. Ch., kamal S., kumar
S., mohapatra K. B. & Sharma M.
Characterization, cultivation, nutritional
and antioxidant properties of the culinary
edible mushroom Lentinus connatus ........... 167
urban A. & kloFaC W.
Neoboletus xanthopus, a sibling species of
Neoboletus luridiformis, and similar boletes
with yellowish pileus colours ........................ 175
rahimlou S., boSe T., babaeizaD V. , Sayari M. &
tajiCk M. A.
 Moleculardataconrmthemitosporicstate
of Hyphodermella rosae (Phanerochaetace-
ae) as the pathogen of rosaceous fruits in
northern Iran .................................................. 189
ambroSio E. & zotti M.
Mycobiota of three Boletus edulis (and al-
lied species) productive sites ......................... 197
tanGthiraSunun N., Silar P. , bhat D. J., maha-
raChChikumbura S. S. N., wijayawarDene N.
N., bahkali A. H. & hyDe K. D.
Morphology and phylogeny of two append-
aged genera of coelomycetes: Ciliochorella
and Discosia .................................................. 217
Book review ......................................................... 227
Taxonomic novelties in Sydowia 67 2015 .......... II
Verlag Ferdinand Berger, Horn/Austria
Your article appeared in Sydowia published by Verlag Berger,
Horn, and is protected by copyright, This author’s copy is for
personal internal non-commercial use only. It may be shared
with colleagues but shall not be self-archived in electronic re-
positories unless the open access fee is settled. Other uses, in-
cluding reproduction and distribution, selling, licensing copies,
or posting to personal, institutional or third party websites are
prohibited. If you need further information please contact:
Verlag Ferdinand Berger & Söhne Ges.m.b.H.,
Wiener Straße 21–23, A-3580 Horn, Austria.
www.verlag-berger.at
Sydowia 67 (2015) 1
Author’s personal copy
Auricularia
spp. – mushrooms as Novel Food and thera-
peutic agents – a review
Agnieszka Se˛kara1,*, Andrzej Kalisz1, Aneta Grabowska1 & Marek Siwulski2
1 Department of Vegetable and Medicinal Plants, Faculty of Biotechnology and Horticulture, University of Agriculture in
Krakow, 29-Listopada 54, 31-425 Kraków, Poland.
2 Poznan University of Life Sciences, Department of Vegetable Crops, Dabrowskiego 159, 60-594 Poznan, Poland
* e-mail: a.sekara@ur.krakow.pl
Se˛kara A., Kalisz A., Grabowska A. & Siwulski M. (2015) Auricularia spp. – mushrooms as Novel Food and therapeutic agents
– a review. Sydowia 67: 1–10.
Mushrooms have been known for their nutritional and culinary values for ages. Nowadays, many species are recognized as
functional dietary supplements. Among them, cultivated species of the genus Auricularia (A. auricula-judae, A. polytricha, A .
fuscosuccinea) are primarily considered, because of their economic importance, especially in Asian countries, as well as the wide
spectrum of their pro-health properties, including antitumor, cholesterol-lowering, anticoagulant, antioxidant, immunomodula-
tory, anti-inammatory, and antimicrobial. Pharmacologically active compounds in Auricularia spp. include non-starch polysac-
charides, polysaccharide-protein and polysaccharide-peptide complexes. In this paper, the current state of knowledge on nutri-
tional value and active compounds characteristics, together with extraction methods and pharmacological activity of cultivated
Auricularia mushrooms is discussed. Biological characteristics and folk medicine usage of the species are also presented. This
review supports the hypothesis that polysaccharides extracted from mushrooms have signicant therapeutic potential and rep-
resent a rich source of novel compounds of pharmacological value for future investigations.
Keywords: ear mushrooms, Auricularia auricula-judae, Auricularia polytricha, Auricularia fuscosuccinea, health-promotion,
functional food
Mushrooms are still an underestimated source of
biologically active compounds, which can be a base
for new pharmaceutical products. Sobieralski et
al. (2012) underlined that functional food includes
mushrooms that contain polysaccharides, especial-
ly beta-glucans, which determine their medicinal
properties, with a special focus on antitumor, im-
munostimulating, and anti-aging actions.
Chang & Buswell (1996) forecasted that mush-
room biotechnology, of which the development of
mushroom nutriceuticals is a major component,
would soon become the dominant segment of the
overall mushroom industry. Wild and cultivated Ba-
sidiomycetes contain health-promoting compounds,
i.e. polysaccharides in fruiting bodies and cultured
mycelium (Wiater et al. 2012, Siwulski et al. 2014).
Although there are limited direct human interven-
tion trials, there is a rapidly growing volume of in
vitro and in vivo animal trials describing a range of
possible health benets, including immunomodula-
tory, antitumor, antimicrobial and hypocholester-
olemic effects (Rathee et al. 2012, Roupas et al. 2012).
Most of the clinical evidence for mushroom ac-
tivity comes from schizophyllan (polysaccharide of
Schizophyllum commune), lentinan (polysaccharide
of Lentinula edodes), grifron-D (polysaccharide of
Grifola frondosa), and krestin (polysaccharide-pro-
tein complex from Trametes versicolor) (Thakur &
Singh Harvinder 2013). These polysaccharides and
polysaccharide conjugates were commercialized for
the clinical treatment of patients undergoing anti-
cancer therapy (Zhang et al. 2007). Mushroom-de-
rived glucans and polysaccharido-peptides can act
as immunomodulators. They can activate host im-
mune cells (such as cytotoxic macrophages, mono-
cytes, neutrophils, natural killer cells, and dendritic
cells) and chemical messengers (cytokines such as
interleukins, interferon, and colony stimulating
factors) that trigger complement and acute phase
responses that are important for the maintenance of
homeostasis (Qin et al. 2010).
In recent years, such medicinal and nutritional
activities were also described for ear mushrooms
belonging to genus Auricularia. These peculiar
mushrooms with ear-shaped fruiting bodies com-
monly grow on the wood of deciduous trees and
shrubs. They have been highly valued in Asian cui-
sine and in natural medicine for ages. The following
DOI 10.12905/0380.sydowia67-2015-0001
2 Sydowia 67 (2015)
Se˛kara et al.: Auricularia spp. as functional food – a review
Author’s personal copy
species of ear mushrooms are commercially culti-
vated in Asian countries: the black ear (Auricularia
auricula-judae (Bull.) J. Schröt.), red ear (A. polytri-
cha (Montagne) Saccardo), and the jin ear or snow
ear (A. fuscosuccinea (Montagne) Farlow) (Misaki &
Kakuta, 1995, Mau et al. 1998). This article reviews
the recent state of knowledge in the eld of exploi-
tation of Auricularia spp. as components of func-
tional foods and sources for nutriceuticals, with an
emphasis on the structure-bioactivity relationship
of active compounds and their pharmacological po-
tential.
Species characteristic and ethnobiology
The genus Auricularia is comprised of 10 to 15
species that are recognized worldwide, having in-
tercontinental to cosmopolitan distributions (Loon-
ey et al. 2013). This genus includes the saprophytic
fungi with gelatinous, ear- to shell-shaped fruiting
bodies. Among them, Auricularia auricula-judae, A.
polytricha and A. fuscosuccinea are grown commer-
cially in Asian countries because the Chinese and
Japanese are particularly enthusiastic fungi con-
sumers (De Roman 2010).
Auricularia auricula-judae (black ear, Jew’s ear,
wood ear in Chinese he¯i mù eˇr, in Japanese kikur-
age) is widespread north of the Tropic of Cancer. The
fruiting body has an ear-like shape and brown col-
oration. It grows on dead wood, especially the wood
of Sambucus nigra. A. auricula-judae resembles A.
fuscosuccinea in color and texture, but in a cross-
section of the fruiting body, it is clearly differenti-
ated by the absence of a medulla (Montoya-Alvarez
et al. 2011). A. fuscosuccinea (jin ear) has a fruit-
ing body with a medullary layer. It grows solitary or
gregariously, most often on the wood of Quercus sp.
A. polytricha (red ear, cloud ear, in Chinese eˇr,
in Japanese aragekikurage) has also a fruiting body
with a medullary layer. It has tougher texture, longer
and lighter hairs, and an unwrinkled sterile surface
as compared with A. auricula-judae. This type of
mushroom is red-brown when moist, and becomes
light gray or tan when dried (Barret 1910, Montoya-
Alvarez et al. 2011). A. polytricha and A. fuscosuc-
cinea are distributed throughout the neotropics and
paleotropics (Lowy 1952). For a few years, a white
strain of A. fuscosuccinea (snow ear) was selected
and cultivated in Taiwan. The fresh fruiting body
of this white variety has a shape of a dancing skirt
and a glossy velvety outer surface, resembling the
Tremella fuciformis fruiting body (Lin et al. 2013).
Auricularia auricula-judae was used in Europe
as a medicinal and food supplement, up until the
19th century. The popular name of this species was
Jew’s ear, a corruption of Judas’ Ear, because this
species was often found on the trunk of the elder,
which was traditionally associated with Judas’
suicide (Palmer 1882). In the past, European folk
medicine noted the use of A. auricula-judae to treat
throat and eyes infections as an astringent. Accord-
ing to the Doctrine of Signatures, plants and fungi
that are similar in shape to certain parts of the body
could be used to treat diseases of that part of the
body (Boehme 1651). Since the Auricularia fruit-
ing body resembles the folds of the throat, it was
used to treat throat ailments, after being boiled in
beer, milk, or vinegar. Auricularia has a gelatinous
consistency that is connected with eye medicine,
and it was often used to treat eye ailments (Chau-
han 2009). Since the 18th and 19th centuries, this
species was neglected in European cuisine and folk
medicine. However, nowadays it has regained culi-
nary importance as an irreplaceable component of
Asian dishes. Alongside the mushrooms’ long his-
tory as a food is an equally long history of reme-
dial abilities in traditional Asian medicine (Roupas
et al. 2012). Both A. auricula-judae and the simi-
lar A. polytricha are popular in China, Japan, and
Korea, where the fruiting bodies were used in cold
and fever treatments, in addition to being used to
cure a variety of ailments, such as hemorrhoids,
hemoptysis, and angina, as well as to strengthen the
body (Chang & Buswell 1996, Chauhan 2009). Some
records of Korean traditional anecdotes indicated
that these mushrooms were also used for the pre-
vention and treatment of thrombosis. Li Shih-Chen,
the author of “Pen Tsao Kang Mu”, (classical Chi-
nese materia medica) in the Ming Dynasty (1368–
1644), wrote that wood ear (A. auricula-judae) was
grown on logs covered with straw in the 7th cen-
tury, so it could be considered as the earliest arti-
cially cultivated mushroom (Chang 1977). In fact,
nowadays, most of the cultivated A. auricula-judae
strains were originally derived from the domestica-
tion of wild-type strains growing in China (Tang et
al. 2010).
Over the past 30 years, the commercial produc-
tion of A. auricula-judae developed rapidly in the
rural areas of China. In 2010, the total A. auricula-
judae production was projected at 1.2 million tons
(Zhang et al. 2012). The medical and culinary appli-
cations resulted in an expansion of the commercial
demand on the word markets. At present, the annu-
al production of members of the Auricularia species
worldwide is the fourth highest of all the industri-
ally cultivated culinary and medicinal mushrooms
(Tang et al. 2010). The current approach to research
Sydowia 67 (2015) 3
Se˛kara et al.: Auricularia spp. as functional food – a review
Author’s personal copy
is to develop new and economical methods of culti-
vation in order to improve the mushroom’s chemical
composition and new methods of active components
extraction. The major problems of A. auricula-judae
production are the random labeling of strains and
the introduction into different regions of identical
strains under different designations. According to
Tang et al. (2010), incorrectly designated strains re-
sult in economic losses, have a negative impact on
mushroom breeding programs, and cause confusion
with regard to the protection of intellectual prop-
erty rights. Cited authors indicated a high level of
genetic diversity among A. auricula-judae, although
the combined ISSR/SRAP data were more concord-
ant with the main agronomic characteristics of the
strains and their geographical centers of cultiva-
tion.
Nutritional value
The Auricularia fruiting bodies have a soft, jel-
ly-like texture, and are black-brown in color. They
are edible, but the European culinary industry has
never treated this mushroom as an especially tasty
food component. However, the East Asian culture
has valued these mushrooms for their gelatinous
texture and health properties. Ear mushrooms
readily rehydrate from a dried state in soups and
sauces, imparting meals with a unique and pleasing
texture (Mau et al. 1998). The fresh fruiting bodies
contain about 90 % moisture.
The nutritional value of 100 g of A. auricula-
judae dried fruiting body includes 293 kcal, 9.4 g
of ash, 8.1 g of protein, 1.5 g of fat, 81 g of carbo-
hydrate, 6.9 g of crude ber alkaloids, thiamin, ri-
boavin, ascorbic acid, vitamin D2 and minerals
(Cheung 2013). Manjunathan et al. (2011) indicat-
ed that A. polytricha collected in south India was
a very good source of crude protein (37 %), crude
ber (21.97 %), ash (6.87 %), calcium (607 mg∙g-1 dry
weight) and manganese (136 mg∙kg-1 dry weight).
In naturally grown A. polytricha, Kavishree et al.
(2008) determined that 60.2 % of the fatty acids
were unsaturated fraction, with a linoleic:oleic acid
ratio of 1.08. A. fuscosuccinea contained the high-
est level of crude fat and crude ber, sweet compo-
nents, and avor 5’-nucleotides, as compared to the
other ear fungi (A. auricula-judae and A. polytri-
cha), as Mau et al. (1998) found. The protein content
in A. auricula-judae and A. fuscosuccinea was sig-
nicantly higher than those in A. polytricha. A. au-
ricula-judae (glutamic acid), A. polytricha (lysine),
and fuscosuccinea (alanine, glutamic acid, serine,
and threonine) were determined to have the highest
amounts of free amino acids. The Auricularia spe-
cies have a 50 % higher ber content than do the
other edible mushrooms, so they can be used as food
supplementation, along with ber. Kim et al. (2004)
showed that such supplementation signicantly
improved constipation-related symptoms without
serious side effects in patients with functional con-
stipation in vivo. Mushrooms were suitable for the
dietetic prevention of hyperlipidemia due to high
content of bers, proteins, microelements, as well as
the low fat content (Cheung 1996).
This information inspired Fan et al. (2007) to
investigate the physical qualities and antioxidant
activities of breads with different levels of substitu-
tion of A. auricula-judae polysaccharides our for
wheat our. The authors stated that breads contain-
ing enriched our could broaden the utilization of
the A. auricula-judae fruiting bodies and may pos-
sibly be regarded as health-promoting functional
foods (Fan et al. 2007). Additionally, A. auricula-
judae is increasingly popular as a “black food” in
China because of high melanin content. Zou et al.
(2010) reported that the mushroom’s fruiting bod-
ies could be used as a good source of the new-type
natural melanin. The mushroom can also be applied
to ultrasound-assisted extraction to improve the
melanin extraction efciency.
Luo et al. (2009a) proposed a novel functional
diet for lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk
of atherosclerosis with A. auricula-judae and haw-
thorn (Crataegus) as the main components. The
functional formulation of A. auricula-judae poly-
saccharide and hawthorn phenols was functional
enough to be a potential antioxidant against hy-
droxyl radicals and superoxide radicals, as well as
acting as an inhibitor against LDL oxidation. Luo
et al. (2009b) also developed a health-promoting
diet against dyslipidemia, based on the polysaccha-
rides from A. auricula-judae, polyphenol from haw-
thorn (Crataegus pinnatida), and Pueraria radix.
The proposed dietary intervention had a signicant
effect on dyslipidemia in vivo, through an improved
lipids prole and modulating the related biochemi-
cal activities.
Active compounds and their extraction
The selection of an extraction method depends
on the mushrooms’ cell wall structure. The mush-
rooms’ cell walls are composed mainly of polysac-
charides acting as structural components. Chitin,
13-β-D glucan and cellulose are alkali-resistant,
insoluble components that are responsible for the
mechanical strength and shape of the cell walls.
4 Sydowia 67 (2015)
Se˛kara et al.: Auricularia spp. as functional food – a review
Author’s personal copy
Hydrophilic protein polysaccharides and amor-
phous homo- and heteropolysaccharides cement
the skeletal portion of the wall, rendering the elas-
ticity, and determining the antigenicity of the walls
(Farkaš 2003). Polysaccharides isolated from the
mushroom include acidic and neutral ones with dif-
ferent types of glycosidic linkages, while some are
bound to protein or peptide residues, forming poly-
saccharide-protein or -peptide complexes. Most of
the polysaccharides belong to β-glucans with 13
linkages in the main chain, and 16 branch linkag-
es, which are crucial for their therapeutic action. In
addition to the primary structure, a secondary chain
conformation also plays an important role in their
activity. A triple-helical tertiary conformation of
mushroom β-(13)-glucans is responsible for their
immunostimulating activity (Wasser 2002, Kumar
et al. 2012). Zhang & Yang (1995) described a lin-
ear water-soluble 13-β-D-glucan isolated from A.
auricula-judae as a single helical chain. Subsequent
investigations demonstrated that the functional
component of A. auricula-judae aqueous extract
was also another polysaccharide, consisting of three
D-glucans and two acidic heteropolysaccharides of
different molecular weights (Zhang et al. 1995a, b).
Mizuno (1999) showed that high molecular weight
glucans appear to be more pharmacologically active
than do those of low molecular weight.
Most mushroom polysaccharides have remained
classied as nonspecic bioactive ones because of
unknown actions and undened chain conforma-
tion. A basic understanding of the conformation
and conformation transition is essential for medici-
nal applications. Bioactive polysaccharides can be
isolated from mycelium, the fruiting body, and scle-
rotium, which represent all forms of the macrofungi
life cycle (Zhang et al. 2007). The extraction method
should be adapted to the structure and water-sol-
ubility of polysaccharides, but the basic rule is to
break the cell wall from the outer layer to the in-
ner layer with mild-to-strong extraction conditions
(Zhang et al. 2007). Hot water extraction was a
popular approach for obtaining water-soluble poly-
saccharides. In 1996, Mizuno developed the extrac-
tion method, which involved the elimination of low
molecular compounds from the mushroom material
using ethanol, followed by three successive extrac-
tions with water, ammonium oxalate and sodium
hydroxide. The alkali solution extracted the water-
insoluble polysaccharide fraction (Mizuno 1996).
Up to now, polysaccharides were mainly extract-
ed from the fruiting body of the macro-fungi that
grow on the solid culture. Wu et al. (2006) proposed
submerged culture as an alternative approach to
producing macro-fungi polysaccharides on a large
scale. Yang & Zhang (2009) separated the acidic and
neutral polysaccharides from A. auricula-judae us-
ing cetyl trimethyl ammonium bromide, forming a
precipitated complex with the acidic polysaccha-
ride.
Reza et al. (2011) compared the antitumor activ-
ity of different solvent fractions (ethanol, dichlo-
romethane, ethyl acetate, butanol and water) of the
A. auricula-judae ethanol extract on the P388D1
macrophage and sarcoma 180 cells. The most po-
tent cytotoxic effect was observed by the dichlo-
romethane solvent fraction of the A. auricula-judae
ethanolic extract, but all of the investigated solvent
fractions showed dose-dependent antitumor activ-
ity.
Polysaccharides could be further puried and
structurally described through the use of a com-
bination of alcohol precipitation, fractional pre-
cipitation, acidic precipitation with acetic acid, gel
ltration, ion-exchange chromatography, gas chro-
matography, afnity chromatography, spectroscopy
and nuclear magnetic resonance etc. (Zhang et al.
2007, Wang et al. 2009, Yu et al. 2009, Song & Du
2012, Zhou et al. 2013). The next step involved pro-
viding an opportunity to obtain new or strong phar-
macological agents with possible therapeutic use
by means of chemical modications. Zhang et al.
(2011) obtained sulfated derivatives of the neutral
and acidic polysaccharides from A. auricula-judae
with benecial health effects due to the antioxidant
activity in vitro. Both of the sulfated derivatives ex-
hibited stronger antioxidant activity than did the
unmodied A. auricula-judae polysaccharides in
superoxide radical scavenging activity assays in vit-
ro. These results demonstrated that there is a need
for further studies on the most effective methods of
polysaccharide extraction and the development of
novel compounds with medicinal value using bio-
technological and chemical methods.
Pharmacological activity
Antitumor
Species from the genus Auricularia have been
the subject of research into possible medicinal ap-
plications since the 1960s, in large part, due to their
antitumor activity. Ikekawa et al. (1969) performed
the preliminary screening of aqueous extracts
of seven species of edible mushrooms. Lentinus
edodes, Flammulina velutipes, Pleurotus ostreatus
and P. spodoleucus, Pholiota nameko, and Tricho-
loma matsutake demonstrated inhibition of the
Sydowia 67 (2015) 5
Se˛kara et al.: Auricularia spp. as functional food – a review
Author’s personal copy
transplanted tumors’ growth, but A. auricula-judae
did not demonstrate that same inhibition.
Sone et al. (1978) isolated two kinds of β-D-
glucans and an acidic heteropolysaccharide from
the fruiting body of A. auricula-judae, showing
their structural features. Misaki et al.’s (1981) sub-
sequent investigations were also performed on two
glucans that had been extracted from the fruit-
ing body of A. auricula-judae. The water-soluble
branched (13)-β-D-glucan (glucan I) showed in-
hibitory activity against implanted sarcoma 180
solid tumors in mice. Antitumor activity was de-
pendent on covalently linked polyhydroxy groups
attached at 0–6 of the (13)-linked D-glucosyl res-
idues, exhibiting potent antitumor activity. The al-
kali-insoluble branched (13)-β-D-glucan (glucan
II), a major constituent of the fruiting body, had no
inhibitory activity. Further investigations indicated
that the attachment of the polyhydroxy groups to
the (13)-β-D-glucan backbone may enhance the
antitumor potency of the glucan.
Lee et al. (1981) determined that A. auricula-
judae’s polysaccharide fractions showed antitumor
activity against sarcoma 180 in mice, with an inhibi-
tion of 90.8 % (doses of 100 mg kg-1 per day for a pe-
riod of 10 days). Kiho et al. (1991) also isolated two
water-insoluble glucans from the hot-water extract
of the Auricularia spp. fruiting bodies: (13)-β-D-
glucan with 16 branches and (13)-β-D-glucan
with 16 branches, containing D-glucopyranosyl
residues. First, the mentioned glucans showed po-
tent antitumor activity against the solid form of
sarcoma 180, although the second one had little ef-
fect on this type of tumor. Ham et al. (1997a, b) con-
rmed the antimutagenic and antigenotoxic activ-
ity of A. auricula-judaes methanol extracts.
Ma et al. (2008) was the rst to provide the
structure and chain conformation of the acidic pol-
ysaccharide from A. auricula-judae that had been
extracted in an aqueous solution. It was composed
of a main chain of (14)-linked D-glucopyranosyl
with branching points at 0–6 of (16)-linked D-
glucopyranosyl residues. The content of the glu-
curonic acid was about 19 % and the distribu-
tion of the glucuronic acid was not periodic in the
polysaccharide. In the following paper, Ma et al.
(2010) reported isolation of another water-soluble
β-D-glucan, the so-called AAG, from the A. auric-
ula-judae fruiting bodies. The authors showed a
strong inhibition of this glucan against acinar cell
carcinoma proliferation. The in vivo tests showed
that AAG signicantly inhibited tumor growth in
a dose-dependent manner, but not because of cy-
totoxicity.
AAG induced S-180 tumor cell apoptosis by
up-regulation of the apoptosis-related protein
Bax and down-regulation of Bcl-2 immunostain
expression. Yu et al. (2009) isolated a polysaccha-
ride fraction from A. polytricha that demonstrated
antitumor action via the macrophage activation.
Song & Du (2012) obtained a glucan-containing α,
β-conguration and (13), (14)-linkage from A.
polytricha, representing a previously undocument-
ed novel structure that acted as immunomodulator,
signicantly inhibiting the growth of transplant-
able sarcoma 180 in mice.
Recently, Zhou et al. (2013) elucidated the pri-
mary structure of A. polytricha polysaccharide:
13-β-glucan, 16-α-glucan, 14-α-glucan and
13-α-glucan backbone with a single 16-α-D-
glucopyranosyl side-branching unit on every nine
residues. This polysaccharide exhibited antimuta-
genic activity against the in vivo DNA-damaging
effect of the indirectly acting alkylating agent, cy-
clophosphamide. The mechanism of its activity was
not clear, but polysaccharide probably modulated
the response of the immune system.
Cholesterol-lowering
Cheung (1996) reported that A. auricula-judae
extract increased the fecal excretion of neutral
steroids and bile acids in rats through β-glucans
and glucuronoxylomannan interference with the
absorption of cholesterol from the digestive tract
of rats. Two years later, Chang et al. (1998) showed
that the methanol extract of A. auricula-judae had
health promoting activities via the inhibition of
lipid peroxidation and the decrease of liver dam-
age in benzo(a)pyrene-treated mice. In Yuan et al.’s
(1998) report, the diet supplemented with hot-wa-
ter extracts from A. auricula-judae reduced the
concentration of blood plasma glucose, insulin,
and urinary glucose, signicantly suppressing the
food intake in genetically diabetic mice. Yang et
al. (2002) used a novel method of isolating bioac-
tive polymeric compounds from the culture broth
of the submerged mycelial culture to demonstrate
A. polytricha exo-biopolymer’s potential to reduce
the level of cholesterol-rich LDL and preserve the
HDL at relatively high levels in the dietary-induced
hyperlipidemic rats. The authors suggested that all
of the above effects would help to reduce the risk
of atherosclerosis. The team’s further investiga-
tions conrmed that the hypoglycemic effect of A.
auricula-judae extracts was primarily caused by a
reduction in food ingestion. However, the effect of
these extracts on the digestion and absorption of
6 Sydowia 67 (2015)
Se˛kara et al.: Auricularia spp. as functional food – a review
Author’s personal copy
carbohydrates in the intestine was not neglected
(Takeuchi et al. 2004). Jeong et al. (2007) investigat-
ed the hypolipidemic effect of biopolymers extract-
ed from culture broth, mycelia, and fruiting bodies
of A. auricula-judae in dietary-induced hyperlipi-
demic rats. The administration of the fruiting bod-
ies reduced the plasma triglyceride, total cholester-
ol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and athero-
genic index to a higher degree as compared to the
other experimental objects. Afterwards, Chen et al.
(2008) showed that oral administration of A. auricu-
la-judae polysaccharides signicantly improved the
total antioxidant capacity and lipoprotein lipase
activity, while decreasing the malondialdehyde lev-
el and the atherosclerosis index in ICR mice. These
conclusions revealed the benecial effects of such
polysaccharides on the preventive actions against
hypercholesterolemia. In the following investiga-
tions, Chen et al. (2011) proved that it was not only
the polysaccharides from A. auricula-judae, but
also the polyphenolic compounds that prevented
hypercholesterolemia by improving the antioxidant
status and lipids prole, inhibiting cholesterol syn-
thesis in the liver and elevating the level of fecal
bile acid excretion.
Anticoagulant
The species of the genus Auricularia had a po-
tential anticoagulant action in the plasma. Hoka-
ma & Hokama (1981) reported that A. polytricha
could suppress platelet aggregation as a result of
the presence of inhibitory factors that may be nu-
cleosides or nucleotides, in addition to other as yet
unidentied low Dalton compounds. A. auricula-
judae was effective in reducing platelet binding in
vitro (Francia et al. 1999). Yoon et al. (2003) showed
the highest anticoagulant activity of acidic polysac-
charides that were 2 IU mg-1 with an average mass
of 160 kDa. This was non-sulfated polysaccharide
containing mannose, glucose, glucuronic acid and
xylose, but no sulfate esters. A. auricula-judae ex-
tract, while it was less effective than heparin, cata-
lyzed thrombin inhibition with antithrombin and
inhibited platelet aggregation and blood clotting ex
vivo when given orally to rats. The glucuronic acid
residues were essential for the anticoagulant action
of A. auricula-judae polysaccharide since the activ-
ity disappeared after the reduction of its carboxyl
groups (Yoon et al. 2003). A. auricula-judae was
proposed by the authors as a new source of anti-
coagulant compounds with action on coagulation,
platelet aggregation and, perhaps, on thrombosis.
Yoon et al. (2003) stated that the evaluation of the
A. auricula-judae polysaccharide as a novel alter-
native agent in thrombosis therapy requires further
studies regarding the characterization of its antico-
agulant nature and the possible effects on the ex-
perimental models of thrombosis.
Antioxidant
Among Auricularia mushrooms, the species-
related differences in their antioxidant activ-
ity should be taken into consideration. Mau et al.
(2001) showed moderate to high antioxidant activi-
ties, higher reducing power, excellent scavenging
effects on DPPH radicals and chelating effects on
ferrous ions, but almost no scavenging effects on the
hydroxyl free radicals of the Auricularia species. In
contrast, the closely-related Tremella fuciformis
was low in reducing power and scavenging effects
on the hydroxyl free radicals, moderate in both an-
tioxidant activities and scavenging effects on DPPH
radicals, and high in chelating effects on ferrous
ions. Generally, ear mushrooms, especially from the
genus Auricularia, are benecial to the human body
through the antioxidant protection system against
oxidative damage. This is done through the pres-
ence of naturally occurring antioxidants, including
ascorbic acid, tocopherols, and total phenols, but
not beta-carotene (Mau et al. 2001).
Rocha et al. (2002) demonstrated that cold and
hot water extracts from the fruiting bodies of Aga-
ricus bisporus and Ganoderma lucidum have pro-
tective effects against H2O2-induced oxidative dam-
age to the cellular DNA, while no protective effects
were observed with mushroom-derived prepara-
tions from A. auricula-judae. Acharya et al. (2004)
reported that A. auricula-judae ethanol extracts
possessed antioxidant and nitric oxide synthase ac-
tivation properties.
Sun et al. (2010) derived four puried polysac-
charides from the fruiting bodies of A. polytricha
using size-exclusion chromatography and ion-ex-
change chromatography. The results showed that
all fractions exhibited antioxidant activities in a
concentration-dependent manner. With the higher
uronic acid content, the antioxidant activities of
polysaccharides increased. Gas chromatography-
mass spectrometry analyses, as performed by Qin
et al. (2010), showed that the monosaccharide com-
position of A. auricula-judae polysaccharides was
glucose (72 %), mannose (8 %), xylose (10 %) and
fucose (10 %). Fourier-transform infrared spectra
obtained had peaks that were characteristic for
polysaccharides with absorption between 1500 cm–1
and 670 cm-1. This was attributed to bands of C–H,
Sydowia 67 (2015) 7
Se˛kara et al.: Auricularia spp. as functional food – a review
Author’s personal copy
C–O and O–H in the polysaccharides. Following the
administration of the A. auricula-judae polysac-
charides, aged mice demonstrated a signicant in-
crease in immune and antioxidant activities, as well
as heart function parameters. From this, the authors
concluded that A. auricula-judae polysaccharides
treatment could improve heart function through its
strong antioxidant activity.
He et al. (2012) investigated the antioxidant
activity of A. auricula-judae water-soluble heter-
opolysaccharides, which contained considerable
proportions of D-mannose and D-galactose, in ad-
dition to D-glucose. The antioxidant properties of
polysaccharides are dependent on their molecular
weight, the ratio of the different monosaccharides
and the glycosyl linkage of the monosaccharides.
Polysaccharides with a smaller molecular weight
exhibited stronger antioxidant activities. The au-
thors concluded that A. auricula-judae, as well as
other mushrooms that had been studied, could po-
tentially be used in well-balanced diets as a source
of antioxidant compounds (He et al. 2012).
Recently, some studies were performed on the
antioxidant properties of newly cultivated white
strains of A. fuscosuccinea, selected and gener-
ated at the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute.
According to Lin et al. (2013), the consumption
of the white variety of A. fuscosuccinea might be
benecial to the human body through the antioxi-
dant protection system against oxidative damage.
A. fuscosuccinea methanol extracts had the highest
total phenolic and avonoid content, as well as the
highest superoxide dismutase activity and total an-
tioxidant capacity when compared with two other
common gelatinous mushrooms, A. polytricha and
Tremella fuciformis. A. polytricha’s glutathione re-
ductase activity was the highest (Lin et al. 2013).
Liao et al. (2014) found similar results, proving that
water and ethanol extracts from the A. fuscosuc-
cinea white strain had signicantly stronger anti-
oxidative effects than did the T. fuciformis sporo-
carp extracts. This study demonstrated that water
extracts from A. fuscosuccinea exhibited excellent
potential as a topical material for skin moisturizing
and anti-aging effects.
Immunomodulatory
Bioactive proteins, i.e. agglutinins, lectins or im-
munomodulatory proteins, constitute an important
group of functional agents in mushrooms. Mush-
room proteins may affect the host’s immune system,
and are therefore thought to have potential in treat-
ing various disease states. However, there are not
many references to ear mushrooms immunomodula-
tory activities in the research. Yagi & Tadera (1988)
described a galactose-binding lectin for A. polytri-
cha, with a molecular mass of 23.0 kDa. However,
its physiological activity was not clear. Sheu et al.
(2004) puried a new protein from the fruiting body
of A. polytricha with immunomodulatory, hemoag-
glutinative activities, modulating murine spleno-
cytes and macrophage cells.
Anti-inammatory
Ukai et al. (1983) showed that the puried poly-
saccharides from the fruiting body of A. auricula-
judae exhibited a signicant anti-inammatory
effect on carrageenan-induced edema in rats. Just
28 years later, Damte et al. (2011) conrmed that
dichloromethane extract from this species inhibited
lipopolysaccharide-induced nitric oxide produc-
tion and the expressions of inammatory cytokines
in LPS-stimulated macrophages, which could pos-
sibly ameliorate the inammation. Damte and cow-
orkers are also studying the mechanisms involved
in the inhibition of NO and proinammatory cy-
tokines in vivo by A. auricula-judae extracts.
Antimicrobial
Gbolagade & Fasidi (2005) investigated the
methanolic extracts of A. polytricha and other
Nigerian mushrooms for their antimicrobial and
antifungal activities. Bacillus cereus, Escherichia
coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus vulgaris and
Staphylococcus aureus were inhibited by the ex-
tracts of all investigated mushrooms, while Pseu-
domonas aeruginosa was resistant to all the mush-
room samples. Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus avus,
Candida albicans and Microsporum boulardii were
weakly inhibited or not inhibited at all. On the ba-
sis of this experiment it can be stressed that the an-
timicrobial activity of Auricularia mushrooms is a
potential direction for future investigations.
Conclusions
Accumulation of dangerous residues from an-
thropogenic activities accounts for the increase of
diseases in human populations, causing people to
pay more attention to functional foods, nutriceuti-
cals, and pharmaceuticals derived from mushrooms.
More researchers are becoming interested in nd-
ing new functional compounds in mushroom spe-
cies belonging to the genus Auricularia. In recent
years, modern pharmacology research has indicated
that specimens from Auricularia spp. are not only
8 Sydowia 67 (2015)
Se˛kara et al.: Auricularia spp. as functional food – a review
Author’s personal copy
health foods but are also a source of biologically
active compounds with medicinal value. They may
have the potential for being complementary medi-
cine/dietary supplements for anticancer, and have
hepatoprotective, immunopotentiating and hypo-
cholesterolemic agents. Studies on their pharmaco-
logical value need to be continued in the near future
as a way to improve human health and well-being.
References
Acharya K., Samui K., Rai M., Dutta B., Acharya R. (2004) An-
tioxidant and nitric oxide synthase activation properties
of Auricularia auricula. Indian Journal of Experimental
Biology 42: 538–540.
Barrett M. F. (1910) Three common species of Auricularia. My-
cologia 2: 12–18. Available online at http://www.jstor.org/
stable/10.2307/3753627.
Boehme J. (1651) Signatura Rerum, or The signature of all
things. London. Available online at: https://archive.org/
details/signaturarerumor00bhme.
Chang J. S., Kim H. J., Bae J. T., Park S. H., Kim S. E., Kim O.
M. (1998) Inhibition effects of Auricularia auricula-judae
methanol extract on lipid peroxidation and liver damage
in benzo(a)pyrene-treated mice. Journal of the Korean So-
ciety of Food Science and Nutrition 27: 712–717.
Chang S. T. (1977) The origin and early development of straw
mushroom cultivation. Economic Botany 31: 374–376.
Chang S. T., Buswell J. A. (1996) Mushroom nutriceuticals.
World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 12:
473–476.
Chauhan A. K. (2009) Textbook of molecular biotechnology.
An overview. I.K. International Publishing House, New
Delhi.
Chen G., Luo Y. C., Ji B. P., Li B., Guo Y., Li Y., Su W., Xiao Z. L.
(2008) Effect of polysaccharide from Auricularia auricula
on blood lipid metabolism and lipoprotein lipase activ-
ity of ICR mice fed a cholesterol-enriched diet. Journal of
Food Science 73: H103–H108.
Chen G., Luo J.-C., Ji B.-P., Li B., Su W., Xiao Z.-L., Zhang
G.-Z. (2011) Hypocholesterolemic effects of Auricularia
auricula ethanol extract in ICR mice fed a cholesterol-en-
riched diet. Journal of Food Science and Technology 48(6):
692–698.
Cheung P. C. K. (2013) Mini-review on edible mushrooms as
source of dietary ber: Preparation and health benets.
Food Science and Human Wellness 2: 162–166.
Cheung P. C. K. (1996) The hypocholesterolemic effect of two
edible mushrooms: Auricularia auricula (tree-ear) and
Tremella fuciformis (white jelly-leaf) in hypercholester-
olemic rats. Nutritional Research 16: 1721–1725.
Damte D., Reza M. A., Lee S.-J., Jo W.-S., Park S.-C. (2011)
Anti-inammatory activity of dichloromethane extract of
Auricularia auricula-judae in RAW264.7 cells. Toxicology
Research 27(1): 11–14.
De Roman M. (2010) The contribution of wild fungi to diet,
income and health: A world review. In: Progress in Mycol-
ogy, M. Rai & G. Kovics (eds): 327–348.
Fan L. S., Zhang S. H., Yu L., Ma L. (2007) Evaluation of an-
tioxidant property and quality of breads containing Au-
ricularia auricula polysaccharide our. Food Chemistry
101(3): 1158–1163.
Farkaš V. (2003) Structure and biosynthesis of fungal cell
walls: Methodological approaches. Folia Microbiologica
48(4): 469–478.
Francia C., Rapior S., Courtecuisse R., Siroux Y. (1999) Current
research ndings on the effects of selected mushrooms on
cardiovascular diseases. International Journal of Medici-
nal Mushrooms 1: 169–172.
Gbolagade J. S., Fasidi I. O. (2005) Antimicrobial activities of
some selected Nigerian mushrooms. African Journal of
Biomedical Research 8: 83–87.
Ham S. S., Kim D. H., Choi K. P., Lee D. S. (1997a) Antigeno-
toxic effects of methyl alcohol extracts from Auricularia
auricula and Gyrophora esculenta. Journal of the Korean
Society of Food Science and Nutrition 26: 57–62.
Ham S. S., Kim D. S., Lee D. S. (1997b) Antimutagenic effect
of methyl alcohol extracts from Auricularia auricula and
Gyrophora esculenta. Korean Journal of Food Science and
Technology 29: 1281–1287.
He J.-Z., Ru Q.-M., Dong D.-D., Sun P.-L. (2012) Chemical
characteristics and antioxidant properties of crude water
soluble polysaccharides from four common edible mush-
rooms. Molecules 17: 4373–4387.
Hokama Y., Hokama J. L. (1981) In vitro inhibition of platelet
aggregation with low Dalton compounds from aqueous
dialysates of edible fungi. Research Communications in
Chemical Pathology and Pharmacology 31: 177–180.
Ikekawa T., Uehara N., Maeda Y., Nakanishi M., Fukuoka F.
(1969) Antitumor activity of aqueous extracts of edible
mushrooms. Cancer Research 29: 734–735.
Jeong H., Yang B.-K., Jeong Y.-T., Kim G.-N., Jeong J.-S., Kim
S.-M., Mehta P., Song C.-H. (2007) Hypolipidemic effects
of biopolymers extracted from culture broth, mycelia, and
fruiting bodies of Auricularia auricula-judae in dietary-
induced hyperlipidemic rats. Mycobiology 35(1): 16–20.
Kavishree S., Hemavathy J., Lokesh B. R., Shashirekha M. N.,
Rajarathnam S. (2008) Fat and fatty acids of Indian edible
mushrooms. Food Chemistry 106: 597–602.
Kiho T., Sakushima M., Wang S. R., Nagai K., Ukai S. (1991)
Polysaccharides in fungi. XXVI. Two branched (1,3)-beta-
D-glucans from hot water extract of Yu eˇr. Chemical and
Pharmaceutical Bulletin 39(3): 798–800.
Kim T. I., Park S. J., Choi C. H., Lee S. K., Kim W. H. (2004)
Effect of ear mushroom (Auricularia) on functional con-
stipation. Korean Journal of Gastroenterology 44: 34–41.
Kumar V., Sinha A. K., Harinder P. S., Makkar H. P., de Boeck
G., Becker K. (2012) Dietary roles of non-starch polysac-
charides in human nutrition: A review. Critical Reviews in
Food Science and Nutrition 52(10): 899–935
Lee S. A., Jung K. S., Shim M. J., Choi O. C., Kim P. K. (1981)
The study on anticancer component of Korea Basidiomy-
cetes (II), Schizophyllum and Auricularia auricula-judae-
judae. The Korean Society of Mycology 9: 25–32.
Liao W. C., Hsueh C. Y., Chan C. F. (2014) Antioxidative activity,
moisture retention, lm formation, and viscosity stability
of Auricularia fuscosuccinea, white strain water extract.
Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry 78(6): 1029–
1036.
Lin W-.Y., Yang M.-J., Hung L.-T., Lin L.-C. (2013) Antioxi-
dant properties of methanol extract of a new commercial
gelatinous mushrooms (white variety of Auricularia fus-
cosuccinea) of Taiwan. African Journal of Biotechnology
12(43): 6210–6221.
Looney B. P., Birkebak J. M., Matheny P. B. (2013) Systematics
of the genus Auricularia with an emphasis on species from
Sydowia 67 (2015) 9
Se˛kara et al.: Auricularia spp. as functional food – a review
Author’s personal copy
the southeastern United States. North American Fungi
8(6): 1–25.
Lowy B. (1952) The genus Auricularia. Mycologia 44: 656–692.
Luo Y. C., Chen G., Li B., Ji B. P., Xiao Z. L., Guo Y., Tian F.
(2009b) Dietary intervention with AHP, a functional for-
mula diet, improves both serum and hepatic lipids prole
in dyslipidemia mice. Journal of Food Science 74: H189–
H195.
Luo Y. C., Chen G., Li B., Ji B. P., Guo Y., Tian F. (2009a) Evalu-
ation of antioxidative and hypolipidemic properties of a
novel functional diet formulation of Auricularia auricula
and hawthorn. Innovative Food Science and Emerging
Technologies 10: 215–221.
Ma Z., Wang J., Zhang L. (2008) Structure and chain confor-
mation of beta-glucan isolated from Auricularia auricula-
judae. Biopolymers 89: 614–622.
Ma Z. C., Wang J. G., Zhang L. N., Zhang Y. F., Ding K. (2010)
Evaluation of water soluble beta-D-glucan from Auricu-
laria auricular-judae as potential anti-tumor agent. Car-
bohydrate Polymers 80(3): 977–983.
Manjunathan J., Subbulakshmi N., Shanmugapriya R., Kavi-
yarasan V. (2011) Proximate and mineral composition of
four edible mushroom species from South India. Inter-
national Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation 3(8):
386–388.
Mau J.-L., Wu K.-T., Wu J.-H., Lin Y.-P. (1998) Nonvolatile
taste components of ear mushrooms. Journal of Agricul-
tural and Food Chemistry 46: 4583–4586.
Mau J.-L., Chao G.-R., Wu K.-T. (2001) Antioxidant properties
of methanolic extracts from several ear mushrooms. Jour-
nal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 49: 5461–5467.
Misaki A., Kakuta M. (1995) Kikurage (tree-ear) and shiroki-
kurage (white jellyleaf): Auricularia auricula and Tremel-
la fuciformis. Food Reviews International 11: 211–218.
Misaki A., Kakuta M., Sasaki T., Tanaka M., Miyaji H. (1981)
Studies on interrelation of structure and antitumor effects
of polysaccharides: Antitumor action of periodate-modi-
ed, branched (1,3)-beta-D-glucan of Auricularia auricu-
la-judae, and other polysaccharides containing (1,3)-gly-
cosidic linkages. Carbohydrate Research 92: 115–129.
Mizuno T. (1996) Development of antitumor polysaccharides
from mushroom fungi. Foods & Food Ingredients Journal
of Japan 167: 69–85.
Mizuno T. (1999) The extraction and development of antitu-
moractive polysaccharides from medicinal mushrooms in
Japan. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms 1:
9–29.
Montoya-Alvarez A. F., Hayakawa H., Minamya Y., Fukuda T.,
López-Quintero C. A., Franco-Molano A. E. (2011) Phylo-
genetic relationships and review of the species of Auricu-
laria (Fungi: Basidiomycetes) in Colombia. Caldasia 33(1):
55–66.
Palmer A. S., (1882) Folk-Etymology. George Bell and Sons,
London. p. 195. Available online at https://archive.
org/stream/folketymologyad01palmgoog#page/n226/
mode/2up.
Qin W., Zhiping T., Haidan L., Lei G., Sijie W., Jinwen L., Weizhi
Z., Tianli Z., Jiefeng Y., Xinhua X. (2010) Chemical charac-
terization of Auricularia auricula polysaccharides and its
pharmacological effect on heart antioxidant enzyme ac-
tivities and left ventricular function in aged mice. Interna-
tional Journal of Biological Macromolecules 46: 284–288.
Rathee S., Rathee D., Rathee D., Kumar V., Rathee P. (2012)
Mushrooms as therapeutic agents. Brazilian Journal of
Pharmacognosy 22(2): 459–474.
Reza A., Choi M.-J., Damte D., Jo W.-S., Lee S.-J., Lee J.-S.,
Park S.-C. (2011) Comparative antitumor activity of dif-
ferent solvent fractions from an Auricularia auricula-
judae ethanol Extract in P388D1 and Sarcoma 180 Cells.
Toxicology Research 27(2): 77–83.
Rocha N. S., Barbisan L. F., de Oliveira M. L. C., de Cama-
rgo J. L. V. (2002) Mushroom-derived preparations in the
prevention of H2O2-induced oxidative damage to cellular
DNA. Teratogenesis Carcinogenesis and Mutagenesis 22:
103–111.
Roupas P., Keogh J., Noakes M., Margetts C., Taylor P. (2012)
The role of edible mushrooms in health: Evaluation of the
evidence. Journal of Functional Foods 4: 687–709.
Sheu F., Chien P.-J., Chien A.-L., Chen Y.-F., Chin K.-L. (2004)
Isolation and characterization of an Immunomodulatory
protein (APP) from the Jew’s Ear mushroom Auricularia
polytricha. Food Chemistry 87: 593–600.
Siwulski M., Sobieralski K., Sas-Golak I. (2014) Nutritional
and health-promoting value of mushrooms in Polish for-
ests. Sylwan 158(2): 151–160.
Sobieralski K., Siwulski M., Lisiecka J., Jedryczka M., Sas-
Golak I., Fruzynska-Jozwiak D. (2012) Fungi derived
β-glucans as a component of functional food. Acta Scien-
tiarum Polonorum – Hortorum Cultus 11(4): 111–128
Sone Y., Kakuta M., Misaki A. (1978) Isolation and characteri-
zation of polysaccharides of kikurage fruitbody of Auricu-
laria auricula judae. Agricultural and Biological Chemis-
try 42(2): 417–426.
Song G., Du Q. (2012) Structure characterization and an-
titumor activity of an α β-glucan polysaccharide from
Auricularia polytricha. Food Research International 45:
381–387.
Sun Y.-X., Liu J.-C., Kennedy J.-F. (2010) Purication, com-
position analysis and antioxidant activity of different
polysaccharide conjugates (APPs) from the fruiting bod-
ies of Auricularia polytricha. Carbohydrate Polymers 82:
299–304.
Takeuchi H., He P., Moo L.Y. (2004) Reductive effect of hot-wa-
ter extracts from woody ear (Auricularia auricula-judae
Quel.) on food intake and blood glucose concentration in
genetically diabetic KK-Ay mice. Journal of Nutritional
Science and Vitaminology 50: 300–304.
Tang L., Xiao Y., Li L., Guo Q., Bian Y. (2010) Analysis of ge-
netic diversity among chinese Auricularia auricular cul-
tivars using combined ISSR and SRAP markers. Current
Microbioloy 61: 132–140.
Thakur M. P., Singh Harvinder K. (2013) Mushrooms, their
bioactive compounds and medicinal uses: A review. Me-
dicinal Plants – International Journal of Phytomedicines
and Related Industries 5(1): 1–20.
Ukai S., Kiho T., Hara C., Kuruma I., Tanaka Y. (1983) Poly-
saccharides in fungi. XIV. Anti-inammatory effect of the
polysaccharides from the fruit bodies of several fungi.
Journal of Pharmacobio-Dynamics 6(12): 983–990.
Wang W., Chen F., Wang Y.-L. (2009) The study on extraction
technology of polysaccharide from Auricularia polytricha
Sacc. Journal of Zhangzhou Normal University (Natural
Science) 3: 121–124.
Wasser S. P. (2002) Medicinal mushrooms as a source of anti-
tumor and immunomodulating polysaccharides. Applied
Mocrobiology and Biotechnology 10: 13–32.
Wiater A., Paduch R., Choma A., Pleszczynska M., Siwulski
M., Dominik J., Janusz G., Tomczyk M., Szczodrak J. (2012)
Biological study on carboxymethylated (1 -> 3)-alpha-D-
glucans from fruiting bodies of Ganoderma lucidum. In-
10 Sydowia 67 (2015)
Se˛kara et al.: Auricularia spp. as functional food – a review
Author’s personal copy
ternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules 51(5):
1014–1023.
Wu J., Ding Z. Y., Zhang K. C. (2006) Improvement of exopoly-
saccharide production by macro-fungus Auricularia au-
ricual in submerged culture. Enzyme and Microbial Tech-
nology 39: 743–749.
Yagi F., Tadera K. (1988) Purication and characterization of
lectin from Auricularia polytricha. Agricultural and Bio-
logical Chemistry 52: 2077–2079.
Yang B.-K., Ha J.-Y., Jeong S.-C., Jeon Y.-J., Ra K.-S., Das S.,
Yun J.-W., Song C.-H. (2002) Hypolipidemic effect of an
exo-biopolymer produced from submerged mycelial cul-
ture of Auricularia polytricha in rats. Biotechnology Let-
ters 24: 1319–1325.
Yang L. Q. Zhang L. M. (2009) Chemical structural and chain
conformational characterization of some bioactive poly-
saccharides isolated from natural sources. Carbohydrate
Polymers 76: 349–361.
Yoon S.-J., Yub M.-A., Pyun Y.-R., Hwang J.-K., Chu D.-C.,
Juneja L. R., Mourao P. A. S. (2003) The nontoxic mush-
room Auricularia auricula contains a polysaccharide with
anticoagulant activity mediated by antithrombin. Throm-
bosis Research 112: 151–158.
Yu M., Xu X. Y., Qing Y., Luo X., Yang Z. R., Zheng L. Y. (2009)
Isolation of an anti-tumor polysaccharide from Auricu-
laria polytricha (Jew’s ear) and its effects on macrophage
activation. European Food Research and Technology 228:
477–485.
Yuan Z., He P., Cui J., Takeuchi H. (1998) Hypoglycemic effect
of water-soluble polysaccharide from Auricularia auricu-
la-judae Quel. on genetically diabetic KK-Ay mice. Biosci-
ence, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry 58: 1898–1903.
Zhang L., Yang L. (1995) Properties of Auricularia auricula-
judae β-D-glucan in dilute solution. Biopolymers 36: 695–
700.
Zhang H., Wang Z.-Y., Yang L., Yang X., Wang X., Zhang Z.
(2011) In vitro antioxidant activities of sulfated deriva-
tives of polysaccharides extracted from Auricularia au-
ricular. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 12:
3288–3302.
Zhang L. N., Yang L. Q., Chen J. H. (1995a) Conformational
change of the β-D-glucan of Auricularia auricula-judae
in water-dimethyl sulfoxide mixtures. Carbohydrate Re-
search 276: 443–447.
Zhang L. N., Yang L. Q., Ding Q., Chen X. F. (1995b) Studies
on molecular weights of polysaccharides of Auricularia
auricula-judae. Carbohydrate Research 270: 1–10.
Zhang M., Cui S. W., Cheung P. C. K., Wang Q. (2007) An-
titumor polysaccharides from mushrooms: a review on
their isolation process, structural characteristics and
antitumor activity. Trends in Food Science & Technol-
ogy 18: 4–19.
Zhang Y. R., Hu D. D., Gu J. G., Hu Q. X., Zuo X. M., Wang H. X.
(2012) Development of SSR markers for typing cultivars
in the mushroom A. auricula-judae. Mycological Progress
11: 587–592.
Zhou J., Chen Y., Xin M., Luo Q., Gu J., Zhao M., Xu X., Lu
X., Song G. (2013) Structure analysis and antimutagenic
activity of a novel salt-soluble polysaccharide from Au-
ricularia polytricha. Journal of the Science of Food and
Agriculture 93: 3225–3230.
Zou Y., Xie C., Fan G., Gu Z., Han Y. (2010) Optimization of
ultrasound-assisted extraction of melanin from Auricu-
laria auricular fruit bodies. Innovative Food Science and
Emerging Technologies 11: 611–615.
(Manuscript accepted 7 January 2015; Corresponding Editor:
I. Krisai-Greilhuber)
... Auricularia Bull. species have a long history of being used as an edible and medicinal mushroom in Chinese and European folk cultures (Sękara et al. 2015). Numerous studies have reported Auricularia to have many pharmacological properties, including antitumour, anticoagulant, antioxidant and cholesterol-lowering effects (Chen et al. 2011;Cheung 1996;Elisashvili 2012;Sękara et al. 2015). ...
... species have a long history of being used as an edible and medicinal mushroom in Chinese and European folk cultures (Sękara et al. 2015). Numerous studies have reported Auricularia to have many pharmacological properties, including antitumour, anticoagulant, antioxidant and cholesterol-lowering effects (Chen et al. 2011;Cheung 1996;Elisashvili 2012;Sękara et al. 2015). Additionally, Auricularia has been shown to have anti-inflammatory (Damte et al. 2011;Ukai et al. 1983), antimicrobial (Gbolagade and Fasidi 2005) and immunomodulatory properties (De Silva et al. 2012a;Sheu et al. 2004). ...
... China is the world's top producer of Auricularia ) and annual production in 2011 reached nearly 4.9 million tonnes (Wu et al. 2013). Auricularia is the fourth most cultivated mushroom genus after Agaricus, Lentinula and Pleurotus in the world (Chang and Miles 2004;Tang et al. 2010 (Chang and Miles 2004;Morales et al. 2000;Sękara et al. 2015;Wu et al. 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
In order to fulfill the increasing demand for edible mushrooms and maintain a steady supply throughout the year, it is necessary to domesticate new wild edible mushroom species. In this study, we domesticated Auricularia thailandica, a newly identified edible species that was collected from the wild in Thailand. We compared the growth of A. thailandica in three different growth media: sawdust, wheat husk and sugarcane bagasse. The use of sawdust resulted in the fastest rate of mycelial colonisation at 56.4 ± 1.2 days, pinheads were formed in 14.2 ± 0.4 days and the biological efficiency was 17.1 ± 2.8%. Nutritional analysis showed that A. thailandica contained a higher proportion of protein (12.99 ± 0.05%) and fat (2.93 ± 0.66%) by dry weight than other commercial Auricularia spp. available on the market. The antioxidant potential of A. thailandica varied with the extraction solvent used, and the effective concentration was found to be significantly lower in methanol extract than aqueous extract. Additionally, this species has an attractive reddish orange colour and larger basidiocarps than other commercially available species.
... Mushrooms are regarded as gourmet food with high nutritional and dietary values, as well as healthy DSs and myco-pharmaceuticals (Hobbs 2005;Khatun et al. 2012;Glamočlija et al. 2015;Kumar 2015;Sękara et al. 2015;Badalyan et al. 2016;Wu et al. 2016;Atila et al. 2017;Biswas et al. 2017;Gargano et al. 2017;Glamočlija and Soković 2017;Reis et al. 2017;Badalyan and Zambonelli 2019;Phan et al. 2018). Therefore, there is a significant potential to develop mushrooms as nutraceuticals and functional food for human wellness and their bioactive molecules for the production of drugs (Dutta 2013;Degreef et al. 2016;Süfer et al. 2016;Landi et al. 2017). ...
... Among medicinal mushrooms, cultivated edible species A. bisporus, A. campestris, A. auricula-judae, L. edodes, Pleurotus spp., and V. volvacea are in high demand due to their nutritional value and pharmaceutical potential (Chang 1996;Chang and Buswell 1996;Chang and Miles 2008;Chang andWasser 2012, 2017;Dutta 2013;Sękara et al. 2015). However, it should be noted that after consumption of Auricularia species, the Szechwan purpura syndrome may develop caused by the injury of thrombocytes (Hammerschmidt 1980;Giacomoni 2004;Brunelli 2009). ...
... The nutraceutical and pharmaceutical potential of bioactive compounds isolated from A. bisporus (lectins), A. auricula-judae, and other Auricularia spp. (acidic polysaccharides), G. frondosa (grifolan, lectin), Lentinus (=Pleurotus) sajor-caju (lovastatin), and O. sinensis (cordycepin) (Xu et al. 2011(Xu et al. , 2016aLiu et al. 2015a;Prasad et al. 2015;Sękara et al. 2015) and general nutritional value, pharmacological properties, as well as potential for therapeutic applications of L. edodes (Finimundy et al. 2014;Thaper and Lakshmi 2017), A. aegerita (Landi et al. 2017), Agaricus sylvaticus (Monro 2003), and other mushrooms were also reported. Medicinal mushroom-based DSs produced from A. brasiliensis, G. lucidum, G. frondosa, L. edodes, and P. ostreatus have already been approved for therapeutic use in Croatia (Jakopovich 2011). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Fungi are considered one of the most diverse, ecologically significant, and economically important organisms on Earth. The edible and medicinal mushrooms have long been known by humans and were used by ancient civilizations not only as valuable food but also as medicines. Mushrooms are producers of high- and low-molecular-weight bioactive compounds (alkaloids, lectins, lipids, peptidoglycans, phenolics, polyketides, polysaccharides, proteins, polysaccharide-protein/peptides, ribosomal and non-ribosomal peptides, steroids, terpenoids, etc.) possessing more than 130 different therapeutic effects (analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiplatelet, antiviral, cytotoxic, hepatoprotective, hypocholesterolemic, hypoglycemic, hypotensive, immunomodulatory, immunosuppressive, mitogenic/regenerative, etc.). The early record of Materia Medica shows evidence of using mushrooms for treatment of different diseases. Mushrooms were widely used in the traditional medicine of many countries around the world and became great resources for modern clinical and pharmacological research. However, the medicinal and biotechnological potential of mushrooms has not been fully investigated. This review discusses recent advances in research on the pharmacological potential of mushrooms and perspectives for their clinical application. _____Key-words: Bioactive compounds · Clinical application · Ethno-mycopharmacology · Medicinal mushrooms · Pharmacological potential.
... but currently as A. heimuer F. Wu, B.K. Cui & Y.C. Dai [1], is the most common and popular species of the genus, and is the third most important cultivated mushrooms worldwide ( Fig. 1; [2]). It has good taste and a wide spectrum of health-associated properties, including antitumor, cholesterol-lowering, anticoagulant, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activities [3]. The earliest report about its medicinal value appeared in the famous Chinese medicinal monograph Compendium of Materia Medica by Shi-Zhen Li in the Ming Dynasty [4,5]. ...
Article
Heimuer, Auricularia heimuer, is one of the most famous traditional Chinese foods and medicines, and it is the third most important cultivated mushroom worldwide. The aim of this study is to develop genomic resources for A. heimuer to furnish tools that can be used to study its secondary metabolite production capability, wood degradation ability and biosynthesis of polysaccharides. The genome was obtained from single spore mycelia of the strain Dai 13782 by using combined high-throughput Illumina HiSeq 4000 system with the PacBio RSII long-read sequencing platform. Functional annotation was accomplished by blasting protein sequences with different public available databases to obtain their corresponding annotations. It is 49.76Mb in size with a N50 scaffold size of 1,350,668bp and encodes 16,244 putative predicted genes. This is the first genome-scale assembly and annotation for A. heimuer, which is the third sequenced species in Auricularia.
Article
Full-text available
Humans have used mushrooms from the beginning of their history. However, during the last few decades, the market demand for these fruiting bodies has increased significantly owing to the spread in the capabilities of culinary and pharmacological exploitation. Natural mushroom resources have become insufficient to meet the support needs. Therefore, traditional methods of extensive cultivation as well as modern technologies have been exploited to develop effective growing recommendations for dozens of economically important mushroom species. Mushrooms can decompose a wide range of organic materials, including organic waste. They play a fundamental role in nutrient cycling and exchange in the environment. The challenge is a proper substrate composition, including bio-fortified essential elements, and the application of growing conditions to enable a continuous supply of fruiting bodies of market quality and stabilized chemical composition. Many mushroom species are used for food preparation. Moreover, they are treated as functional foods, because they have health benefits beyond their nutritional value, and are used as natural medicines in many countries. Owing to the rapid development of mushroom farming, we reviewed the growing technologies used worldwide for mushroom species developed for food, processing, and pharmacological industries.
Article
The objective was to investigate the in vitro antioxidant activity of a novel polysaccharide AAP–3–1 from Auricularia auricula. AAP–3–1 was isolated from the fruiting bodies of A. auricula by hot water extraction and ethanol precipitation and was purified by DEAE FF ion exchange chromatography and Superdex 200 gel filtration chromatography. The molecular weight and monosaccharide composition were determined by high performance gel permeation chromatography and high–performance liquid chromatography, respectively. Ultraviolet visible spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy were used for structural characterization. The results showed that AAP–3–1 is a heteropolysaccharide and is mainly composed of mannose and glucose in a molar ratio of 1.4:1 with a molecular weight of 320.9 kDa. AAP–3–1 exhibited antioxidant activity in a concentration–dependent manner and the scavenging rates at 1.6 mg/mL on superoxide anions and hydroxyl and 1,1–diphenyl–2–picrylhydrazyl radicals were 88.13%, 93.03% and 68.31%, respectively. AAP–3–1 effectively ameliorated 2,2′–azobis–2–methyl–propanimidamide–induced oxidative stress in HepG2 cells by inhibiting reactive oxygen species generation, decreasing the content of malondialdehyde, and increasing the activities of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase. The results indicated that the antioxidant mechanism of AAP–3–1 was associated with both non–enzymatic and enzymatic defense systems.
Article
Full-text available
Pleurotus eryngii (DC:Fr.) Quel. is a cultivated mushroom of high culinary value and medicinal properties. Mycelium of P. eryngii is characterized by the ability of effective bio-elements absorption from growth media so it could be biofortified with trace elements with a functional activity in the human body. In this study, the ability of P. eryngii mycelia from in vitro cultures as well as fruiting bodies were investigated in terms of their effectiveness in zinc and selenium accumulation. The effect of Se and Zn biofortification on productivity, chemical compounds, and bio-elements content of P. eryngii was determined as well. To enhance Se and Zn content in P. eryngii fruiting bodies and mycelia, substrates were supplemented with sodium selenite, at a concentration of 50 mg L−1, zinc sulfate, and zinc hydro-aspartate at a concentration of 87.2 and 100.0 mg L−1, respectively. Mentioned Zn concentrations contained the same amount of zinc(II) ions, namely 20 mg L−1. The content of organic compounds include phenolic compounds and lovastatin, which were determined by a high-performance liquid chromatography with diode-array detector (HPLC-DAD) and reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) method with UV detection. The ability of P. eryngii to accumulate zinc and selenium from the culture medium was demonstrated. The degree of accumulation of zinc turned out to be different depending on the type of salt used. The present study also showed that conducting mycelium of P. eryngii in in vitro culture, with a higher content of zinc ions, can result in obtaining the materials with better antioxidant ability. The results of this study can be used to develop the composition of growing media, which ensures the production of biomass with the desired composition of elements
Article
Full-text available
In order to promote the comprehensive utilization of the Auricularia auricula waste residue, the extraction process and the physicochemical properties of melanin from A. auricula waste residue were studied. Furthermore, the chemical antioxidant activity of waste residue melanin and its protective effect on cell oxidative injury induced by H2O2 were investigated. The results indicated that the ultrasonic‐assisted extraction process could be used to extract the melanin from A. auricula waste residue. Melanin had a good solubility in alkali solution and exhibited a certain stability to thermal. There was no significant difference between A. auricula melanin control group and waste residue melanin on ABTS, DPPH, and hydroxyl radical scavenging activity. Waste residue melanin significantly inhibited the cell death caused by H2O2, and the cell viability was restored to 98.09 ± 5.97% when the melanin concentration was 1.6 mg/ml. Cell morphology observation confirmed that the melanin ameliorated the morphological changes of cells induced by oxidative stress. Melanin, one of the main components of Auricularia auricula, still remains in the waste residues of A. auricula fruit body after extracting polysaccharides and other active substances. In order to promote the comprehensive utilization of the A. auricula waste residue, we studied the extraction technology, physicochemical properties of melanin from the waste residue of A. auricula, and its protective effect on oxidative damage of cells. The results showed that the ultrasonic‐assisted extraction process could improve the extraction rate of melanin from A. auricula waste residue; the residue melanin had good antioxidant activity and could protect cells from oxidative stress damage.
Article
Edible mushrooms contain a variety of bioactive molecules that may enhance human health and wellbeing. Consequently, there is increasing interest in fortifying functional foods with these nutraceutical-rich substances. However, incorporation of mushroom-based ingredients into foods should not adversely affect the quality attributes of the final product. In this study, the impact of incorporating powdered Auricularia auricula, a widely consumed edible mushroom, into bread products was examined. The rheological and structural properties of wheat dough and bread supplemented with 0% to 10% (w/w) A. auricula flour were measured. Supplementation of wheat doughs with A. auricula flour increased the peak viscosity and enhanced their water holding capacity. Rapid viscosity analysis showed that peak and final viscosities of the blended flour (wheat flour with A. auricula flour) were higher than wheat flour alone. However, dough stability and elastic modulus were reduced by blending wheat flour with A. auricula flour. SEM observation showed that doughs with up to 5% (w/w) A. auricula flour had acceptable gluten network microstructure. Characterization of the quality attributes of bread indicated that incorporation of A. auricula flour at levels >5% negatively impacted bread volume, height, texture, and appearance.
Article
Mushrooms found in Polish forests are characterized by high nutritional value. They provide proteins, carbohydrates, fatty acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Both commonly harvested and medicinal species contain a lot of substances that are health-promoting active. Their antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial properties were demonstrated. Recent studies have not confirmed the health hazards caused by excessive accumulation of heavy metals in fruiting bodies.
Article
White variety of Auricularia fuscosuccinea is a newly cultivated gelatinous mushrooms which is found only in Taiwan. In this study, total phenolic and total flavonoid content of methanol extract of white variety of A. fuscosuccinea was estimated, and in vitro antioxidant properties and antioxidant enzyme activities were also evaluated. When compared with two other common gelatinous mushrooms, A. polytricha and Tremella fuciformis , white variety of A. fuscosuccinea had the highest total phenolic [7.88 mg gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/g] and total flavonoid [1.60 mg quercetin equivalents (QE)/g]. Among all methanol extracts analyzed, white variety of A. fuscosuccinea had the lowest EC 50 value on reducing g power (0.305 mg/ml) and scavenging effect on 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical (0.150 mg/ml) had the highest total sugars [44.73 mg dextrose equivalents (DEX)/g] and the lowest EC 50 value on chelating effect on ferrous ions (0.427 mg/ml). The methanol extracts from white variety of A. fuscosuccinea possessed the highest superoxide dismutase activity (2.10 U/mg) and total antioxidant capacity (2.26 mM/g). The glutathione reductase activity (7.97 U/g) of A. polytricha was the highest. The analyses of the antioxidant contents phenolic compounds are mainly responsible for the antioxidant effect of gelatinous mushrooms. Keywords: Auricularia fuscosuccinea , antioxidant activity, reducing power, scavenging effect, chelating effect.
Article
Two kinds of β-D-glucans and an acidic heteropolysaccharide were isolated from the fruit body of Auricularia auricula-judae, and their structural features were elucidated. A water soluble glucan ([α]D -10°) consists of a backbone chain of β-(1→3)-linked D-glucose residues, two out of three glucose residues being substituted at the C-6 positions with single glucose units. The other glucan, which was obtained as the hot alkali insoluble residue, is also β-(1→3)-glucan with single branches at C-6 positions, but it has an extremely highly branched struc-ture; a small proportion of (1→6)-internal linkages may be situated in the side chains. An acidic heteropolysaccharide ([α]D -20°), isolated from the hot water extract through insoluble complex formation with cetylpyridinium chloride, contains D-xylose, D-mannose, D-glucose and D-glucuronic acid (molar ratio, 1.0:4.1:1.3:1.3). Methylation followed by acid hydrolysis of the polysaccharide yielded 2, 3, 4, 6-tetra-O-methyl-D-mannose(glucose), 2, 3, 4-tri-O-methyl-D-xylose, 2, 4, 6-tri-, 4, 6-di-, and 2, 4-di-O-methyl-D-mannose, 2, 4-di-O-methyl-D-glucose, together with 2, 3, 4-tri-O-methyl-D-glucuronic acid, suggesting that it consists of a backbone chain of (1→3)-linked mannose residues, which are attached with D-xylose, D-mannose and D-glucuronic acid residues at the C-2 or C-6 positions. On the basis of these findings, the constitution of the A. auricula judae was compared with that of Tremella fuciformis.