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Fomitopsis betulina (formerly Piptoporus betulinus): the Iceman’s polypore fungus with modern biotechnological potential

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World J Microbiol Biotechnol (2017) 33:83
DOI 10.1007/s11274-017-2247-0
Fomitopsis betulina (formerly Piptoporus betulinus): theIceman’s
polypore fungus withmodern biotechnological potential
MałgorzataPleszczyńska1· MartaK.Lemieszek2· MarekSiwulski4·
AdrianWiater1· WojciechRzeski2,3· JanuszSzczodrak1
Received: 31 January 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017
© The Author(s) 2017. This article is an open access publication
a promising source for the development of new products for
healthcare and other biotechnological uses.
Keywords Biological activity· Cultivation· Fomitopsis
betulina· Phytochemistry· Piptoporus betulinus
In 1991, a mummified body was discovered in the Val Sen-
ales glacier in Italy. The man (named Ӧtzi the Iceman), who
lived 5300 years ago, carried two fragments of a fruiting
body of Fomitopsis betulina (formerly Piptoporus betuli-
nus). Some scientists believe that Ӧtzi might have used the
fungus for medical purposes (Capasso 1998) and, although
the idea arouses some controversy (Pöder 2005), the long
tradition of the use of F. betulina in folk medicine is a fact
(Reshetnikov etal. 2001; Wasser 2010). Infusion from F.
betulina fruiting bodies was popular, especially in Russia,
Baltic countries, Hungary, Romania for its nutritional and
calming properties. Fungal tea was used against various
cancer types, as an immunoenhancing, anti-parasitic agent,
and a remedy for gastrointestinal disorders (Grienke etal.
2014; Lucas 1960; Peintner and Pöder 2000; Semerdžieva
and Veselský 1986; Shamtsyan etal. 2004). Antiseptic and
anti-bleeding dressings made from fresh F. betulina fruit-
ing body were applied to wounds and the powder obtained
from dried ones was used as a painkiller (Grienke et al.
2014; Papp etal. 2015; Rutalek 2002).
In the present paper, we have shown the current knowl-
edge of the fungus F. betulina, including its lifestyle, chem-
ical composition, and potential in biotechnology.
Abstract Higher Basidiomycota have been used in natural
medicine throughout the world for centuries. One of such
fungi is Fomitopsis betulina (formerly Piptoporus betuli-
nus), which causes brown rot of birch wood. Annual white
to brownish fruiting bodies of the species can be found on
trees in the northern hemisphere but F. betulina can also be
cultured as a mycelium and fruiting body. The fungus has a
long tradition of being applied in folk medicine as an anti-
microbial, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory agent. Proba-
bly due to the curative properties, pieces of its fruiting body
were carried by Ötzi the Iceman. Modern research confirms
the health-promoting benefits of F. betulina. Pharmacologi-
cal studies have provided evidence supporting the antibac-
terial, anti-parasitic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antican-
cer, neuroprotective, and immunomodulating activities of
F. betulina preparations. Biologically active compounds
such as triterpenoids have been isolated. The mushroom is
also a reservoir of valuable enzymes and other substances
such as cell wall (13)-α-d-glucan which can be used for
induction of microbial enzymes degrading cariogenic den-
tal biofilm. In conclusion, F. betulina can be considered as
* Małgorzata Pleszczyńska
1 Department ofIndustrial Microbiology, Maria Curie-
Skłodowska University, Akademicka 19, 20-033Lublin,
2 Department ofMedical Biology, Institute ofRural Health,
Jaczewskiego 2, 20-095Lublin, Poland
3 Department ofVirology andImmunology, Maria Curie-
Skłodowska University, Akademicka 19, 20-033Lublin,
4 Department ofVegetable Crops, Poznań University ofLife
Sciences, Dąbrowskiego 159, 60-594Poznań, Poland
World J Microbiol Biotechnol (2017) 33:83
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Taxonomy andcharacteristics
Piptoporus betulinus (Bull.) P. Karst. (known as birch poly-
pore, birch bracket, or razor strop) is a common Basidi-
omycota brown rot macrofungus growing on decaying
birch wood. Homobasidiomycetes were divided into eight
clades. The family Polyporaceae with the genus Piptopo-
rus was classified to the polyporoid clade, and then the
antrodia clade—the Fomitopsis-Daedalea-Piptoporus
group comprising brown rot fungi was identified within
this clade (Hibbett and Donoghue 2001; Hibbett and Thorn
2001). Further studies of the phylogenetic relationships
among members of the antrodia clade revealed polyphyly
of the Fomitopsis genus and suggested that P. betulinus
was phylogenetically closer to Fomitopsis than to Piptopo-
rus (Kim etal. 2005; Ortiz-Santana etal. 2013). Recently,
P. betulinus (Bull.) P. Karst. has been transferred to Fomi-
topsis (Han etal. 2016) and, according to Index Fungorum
(2016), is classified in the genus Fomitopsis, family Fomi-
topsidaceae, order Polyporales, class Agaricomycetes, divi-
sion Basidiomycota, kingdom Fungi, with the current name
Fomitopsis betulina (Bull.) B.K. Cui, M.L. Han and Y.C.
Dai, comb.nov. (MycoBank no.: MB 812646).
Fomitopsis betulina is characterized by annual, sessile to
effused-reflexed, tough to woody hard basidiocarps, white
to tan or pinkish-colored pore surface with mostly small
and regular pores. Fruiting bodies grow singly or in small
groups, are covered with a laccate, glabrous crust, never
zonate, young cream to white, later ochraceous-brown
to greyish brown (Fig.1a). The mycelium of F. betulina
developing on agar media is white, relatively homogene-
ous, downy-felt, with regular colony edges (Fig.1b). The
hyphae develop radially. The hyphal system is mostly dim-
itic. The clamped generative hyphae, 1.5–3.5µm in diam-
eter, are branched and hyaline whereas the skeletal hyphae
with the diameter of 3– 4 µm, are less branched and have
thicker walls. No primordia or fruiting bodies of this spe-
cies were found invitro (Petre and Tanase 2013). Basidi-
ospores are smooth, hyaline, thin-walled, and cylindri-
cal (Han and Cui 2015; Han etal. 2016; Kim etal. 2005;
Schwarze 1993).
The birch polypore grows mainly as a saprophyte on
dead trees and occasionally as a parasite of living trees. It
occurs in northern temperate forests and parks in Europe,
North America, and Asia. The host range of the fungus is
restricted exclusively to birch species, e.g. Betula pendula
Roth., B. pubescens Ehrh., B. papyrifera Marsh., and B.
obscura Kotula (Schwarze 1993; Žižka etal. 2010).
Wood decay
Wood rotting fungi are traditionally divided into white and
brown rot species based on the structure and composition
of residual wood. Brown rot fungi extensively degrade the
carbohydrate fraction of lignocellulose but, in contrast to
white rot fungi, leave lignin, although in a modified form.
In these fungi, chemical depolymerization of cellulose,
which precedes and supports its enzymatic degradation,
is very important. They lack ligninolytic peroxidases and
usually some other enzymes such as processive cellobio-
hydrolases used for degradation of crystalline cellulose,
but contain H2O2-generating oxidases and Fe3+- and qui-
none-reducing enzymes used for non-enzymatic depolym-
erization of polysaccharides (Arantes and Goodell 2014;
Baldrian and Valášková 2008; Hori etal. 2013). Modern
phylogenetic evidence suggest, however, that there is no
sharp distinction between the two groups of fungi (Hori
etal. 2013; Riley etal. 2014).
Fomitopsis betulina is one of the most common brown rot
species but its wood-decaying mechanism has been tested
only fragmentarily (Meng etal. 2012) and is still poorly
Fig. 1 Fomitopsis betulina. a Basidiocarp of the wild fungus. b Mycelium on an agar plate. c Mature fruiting body cultured on birch sawdust in
artificial conditions. (photographed by M. Siwulski)
World J Microbiol Biotechnol (2017) 33:83
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understood. As other fungi of this type, it degrades wood to
yield brown, cubical cracks easily broken down. Many fac-
tors, including microflora or compounds present in wood,
contribute to this complex process (Przybył and Żłobińska-
Podejma 2000; Song etal. 2016; Zarzyński 2009). Shang
etal. (2013) showed that wood samples decayed by F. betu-
lina lost 57% of dry weight (dw) and 74% of holocellulose
after 30 days, whereas the fungus growing on wheat straw
causes 65% loss of dw within 98 days of culture (Valáško
and Baldrian 2006a). A set of enzymes of F. betulina
involved in the degradation of lignocellulose was character-
ized in detail by Valášková and Baldrian (2006a, b). The
fungus growing on straw produced enzymes with wide sub-
strate specificities: (14)-β-endoglucanase, β-glucosidase,
(14)-β-endoxylanase, (14)-β-endomannanase,
(14)-β-xylosidase, and (14)-β-mannosidase. The
activities of ligninolytic enzymes and cellobiose dehydro-
genase for oxidoreductive cleavage of cellulose were not
detected. Similar results were obtained in liquid cultures by
Vĕtrovský etal. (2013). When F. betulina grew in nature,
β-glucosidase and β-mannosidase activity was associ-
ated with the fruiting bodies while endopolysaccharidases
were detected in colonized wood (Valášková and Baldrian
Carpophores of F. betulina from natural habitats or myce-
lium and culture liquid from submerged cultures were used
as raw material to obtain extracts and bioactive substances
with medicinal properties (Table1) (Lomberh etal. 2002).
Studies concerning the mycelium growth rate in the pres-
ence of various substances (metals, dyes) were conducted
mainly on agar media or in liquid cultures (Baldrian and
Gabriel 2002; Dresch etal. 2015; Hartikainen etal. 2016).
The yield of F. betulina mycelium was established in liquid
cultures with addition of some agricultural wastes in the
studies of Krupodorova and Barshteyn (2015). The enzy-
matic activity of F. betulina was studied in laboratory con-
ditions on agar media (Krupodorova etal. 2014), in liquid
cultures (Vĕtrovský etal. 2013), on wheat straw (Valášková
and Baldrian 2006a, b), and on Betula sp. wood samples
(Reh etal. 1986; Shang etal. 2013).
There are limited data on small- or large-scale cultiva-
tion of this species in which carpophores could be obtained
in controlled conditions. The first such report referring to
outdoor log cultivation of F. betulina on Betula davurica
Pallas originated from Korea (Ka etal. 2008). Logs with
a diameter of 8–18 cm and length of 107–135 cm were
inoculated and then cultured in natural conditions. The
yield obtained was in the range from 212 to 1298g fresh
weight (1–2 mushrooms per log). Development of fruiting
bodies took an average of 18 months. The ratio of log yield
was estimated at 2.8–6.1%. The only report on indoor
production of F. betulina fruiting bodies was given by
Pleszczyńska etal. (2016). In the study, four strains of F.
betulina isolated from natural habitats were applied. Their
mycelia were inoculated into birch sawdust supplemented
with organic additives. Mature fruiting bodies weigh-
ing from 50 to 120g were obtained from only one strain,
after 3–4 months of the cultivation in artificial conditions
(Fig.1c). The biological efficiency ranged from 12 to 16%.
It was shown that extracts isolated from cultivated and
naturally grown F. betulina fruiting bodies had comparable
biological activity (Table1).
Biotechnological uses
Phytochemistry andpharmacological activity
Comprehensive analyses of the chemical composition of
the F. betulina fruiting body carried out under different
conditions (Grishin etal. 2016; Hybelbauerová etal. 2008;
Reis etal. 2011) revealed the presence of 17 fatty acids,
in it 22% saturated and 78% unsaturated (mainly oleic and
linoleic acid); sugars (d-arabinitol, d-mannitol and α,α tre-
halose); biomolecules with antioxidant properties (tocophe-
rols—0.578mg/100g dw, mainly β and γ; ascorbic acid—
87.5mg/100g dw; β-carotene and lycopene). Among other
identified compounds were betulinic acid, betulin, lupeol,
fomefficinic acid, ergosterol peroxide, and 9,11-dehydroer-
gosterol peroxide (Alresly etal. 2016; Jasicka-Misiak etal.
2010). Total content of phenolics was determined on 14 or
35mg GAE/g dw whereas phenolic acids were not detected
(Reis etal. 2011; Sułkowska-Ziaja etal. 2012). Product of
hydrodistillation of F. betulina fruiting bodies contained
numerous volatile mono- and sesquiterpenes. Several com-
pounds found, (+)-α-barbatene, (−)-β-barbatene, daucene
and isobazzanene, have not been previously reported from
other mushrooms. Alcohols, 3-octanol and 1-octen-3-ol,
were the main flavour constituents of the fungus (Rapior
etal. 1996; Rösecke etal. 2000).
Although some authors considered young specimens
of F. betulina edible (Wasson 1969), the fungus value
is not the result of nutritional but therapeutic proper-
ties. The overview of the available literature concern-
ing medical potential of birch polypore was presented
in Table1. Referring to the folk uses of the birch poly-
pore, most of the presented research was based on crude
extracts, which often have greater bioactivity than iso-
lated constituents at an equivalent dose. This phenom-
enon is explained by mostly synergistic interactions
between compounds present in mixtures. Furthermore,
extracts often contain substances that inhibit multi-drug
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Table 1 Biological properties of extracts and compounds isolated from Fomitopsis betulina
Biological activity Mechanism of biological activity Model [method of study] ExtractaActive compoundaReferences
Bactericidal Inhibition of bacterial growth Bacillus subtilis, Mycobacterium
smegmatis, Pseudomonas aerugi-
nosa, Serratia marcescens, Staphy-
lococcus aureus [zone of inhibition,
agar well diffusion assay]
Extracts Suay etal. (2000)
Brucella sp.[zone of inhibition, agar
well diffusion assay]
Benzene extracts Polyporenic acid (suggested) Utzig and Fertig (1957)
Bacillus sp., Rhodococcus equi, S.
aureus [zone of inhibition, disk-
diffusion method]
Chloroform extracts Karaman etal. (2009)
B. subtilis, Escherichia coli [zone of
inhibition, agar well diffusion assay]
Dichloromethane extracts Keller etal. (2002)
Bacillus sp., R. equi, S. aureus, E.coli
[zone of inhibition, agar well diffu-
sion assay]
Methanol extracts Karaman etal. (2009), Keller etal.
B. subtilis, Sarcina lutea [zone of inhi-
bition, agar well diffusion assay]
Ethanol extracts Polyporenic acid A (suggested) Kandefer-Szerszeń etal. (1981)
B. subtilis, S. lutea, Brucella sp. [zone
of inhibition, agar well diffusion
Ether extracts Polyporenic acid (suggested) Kandefer-Szerszeń and Kawecki (1974),
Utzig and Fertig (1957)
B. subtilis, Enterococcus faecalis,
E.coli, S. aureus [zone of inhibition,
agar well diffusion assay, NCCLS-
Piptamine isolated from submerged
culture of F. betulina Schlegel etal. (2000)
B. subtilis, E.coli, S. aureus [zone of
inhibition assay]
Mycelium, culture liquid Krupodorova etal. (2016)
B. subtilis, S. aureus [zone of inhibi-
tion assay]
3β-acetoxy-16α hydroxyl-24-oxo-5α-
lanosta-8-ene-21-oic acid
Alresly etal. (2016)
E. faecalis [zone of inhibition assay] Alkali extract Vunduk etal. (2015)
Fungicidal Inhibition of fungal growth Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Aspergillus
fumigatus, [zone of inhibition, agar
well diffusion assay]
Extracts Suay etal. (2000)
Candida albicans, Kluyveromyces
marxianus, Rhodotorula rubra,
Sporobolomyces salmonicolor,
Penicillium notatum [zone of
inhibition, agar well diffusion assay,
Piptamine isolated from submerged
culture of F. betulina Schlegel etal. (2000)
Larvicidal Induction of larva death Aedes aegypti [bioassay] Dichloromethane extract Keller etal. (2002)
Antiviral Protection of CEF cells from vaccinia
virus Host/target cells: primary culture of
chick embryo fibroblast (CEF)
Challenge virus: vaccinia virus
Ethanol extracts Kandefer-Szerszeń etal. (1981)
Induction of sub stance with properties
similar to interferon (hot-stable,
stable at pH 2, nondialyzing, insensi-
tive to RNA-se, slightly sensitive to
[Plaque formation assays] Water extracts Kandefer-Szerszeń and Kawecki (1979)
Ether extracts polyporenic acid (suggested) Kandefer-Szerszeń and Kawecki (1974)
nucleic acids (RNA and DNA) Kandefer-Szerszeń etal. (1979)
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Table 1 (continued)
Biological activity Mechanism of biological activity Model [method of study] ExtractaActive compoundaReferences
Protection of HAT cells from vaccinia
virus by induction of interferon
Host/target cells: human fibroblast
culture (HAT)
challenge virus: vaccinia virus
[plaque formation assays]
RNA Kawecki etal. (1978)
Mice protection from lethal infection
with TBE
Host/target: Swiss mice
Challenge virus: tick borne encephali-
tis (TBE) virus
Ethanol extracts Kandefer-Szerszeń etal. (1981)
Water extracts induced substance with
properties similar to interferon (sta-
ble at pH 2, nondialyzing, sensitive
to trypsin)
[Neutralization test] Water extracts Kandefer-Szerszeń and Kawecki (1979)
Ether extracts Polyporenic acid Kandefer-Szerszeń and Kawecki (1974)
Nucleic acids (RNA and DNA) (sug-
Kandefer-Szerszeń etal. (1979),
Kawecki etal. (1978)
Mice protection from lethal infection
with HSV-2
host/target: Swiss mice
Challenge virus: herpes simplex virus
type 2 (HSV-2) [neutralization test]
RNA Kawecki etal. (1978)
Anti-inflammatory Angiotensin I-converting enzyme
inhibitory activity
Alkali extract Vunduk etal. (2015)
Strong inhibition of 3α-hydroxysteroid
dehydrogenase (3α-HSD), hyalu-
ronate lyase and weak inhibition of
cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1)
[Enzyme-based assays: (3α-HSD)-
assay according to the method of
Penning; N-cetyl-N-trimethylammo-
nium bromide assay according to the
method of Ferrante; COX-1 assay]
Polyporenic acid C; (3α,12α,25S)-
lanost-8-en-26-oic acid;
droxy-24- methylene-lanost-8-en-
26-oic acid
Wangun etal. (2004)
Mice protection from ear edema induc-
tion by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-
13-acetate (TPA)
Mice ear edema model Polyporenic acid A; polyporenic acid
C; (3α,12α,25S)-3-[(carboxyacetyl)
ene-lanost-8-en-26-oic acid;
1,5-dioxopentyl]oxy]-24- meth-
ylene-lanost-8-en-26-oic acid;
Kamo etal. (2003)
Antioxidant Antioxidant capacity [DPPH scavenging activity, FRAP
Water extracts Vunduk etal. (2015)
Antioxidant capacity [DPPH scavenging activity, reducing
power, α-carotene bleaching inhibi-
α-, β-, γ-, δ-tocopherols; ascorbic acid;
β-carotene; lycopene
Reis etal. (2011)
Antioxidant capacity [FRAP method] p-hydroxybenzoic acid; protocatechuic
acid; vanillic acid
Sułkowska-Ziaja etal. (2012)
Immunomodu-lation Activation of neutrophils to production
of reactive oxygen forms
Neutrophils from human peripheral
blood [LDCL method]
Water extracts from fruiting bodies
and mycelium
Shamtsyan etal. (2004)
Anticancer Antimigrative properties Cancer cell lines: A549, HT-29, T47D,
TE671 [wound assay]
Ethanol extracts Pleszczyńska etal. (2016), Zwolińska
(2004), Żyła etal. (2005)
Cancer cell line:TE671 [wound assay] Ether extracts Zwolińska (2004)
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Table 1 (continued)
Biological activity Mechanism of biological activity Model [method of study] ExtractaActive compoundaReferences
Cancer cell lines: A549, C6, HT-29,
T47D [wound assay]
Water extracts Pleszczyńska etal. (2016), Lemieszek
etal. (2009)
Cancer cell lines: A549, HT-29, T47D
[wound assay]
Water and ethanol extracts of culti-
vated fruiting bodies
Pleszczyńska etal. (2016)
Decrease in tumor cell adhesion Cancer cell line: LS180 [crystal violet
Ethanol and ether extracts of invitro
grown mycelium
Cyranka etal. (2011)
Apoptosis induction Cancer cell line: T47D [ELISA] Ethanol extracts Zwolińska (2004)
Cancer cell line: A549 [ELISA] Ether extracts Żyła (2005)
Cancer cell lines: A549, C6 [ELISA,
May Grünwald Giemsa staining]
Water extracts Lemieszek etal. (2009)
Cell death induction Cancer cell lines: A549, T47D, TE671
[May Grünwald Giemsa staining]
Ethanol extracts Żyła etal. (2005), Zwolińska (2004)
Decrease in cancer viability Cancer cell line: HeLa [MTT test] carboxymethylated (13)- -α-D-
Wiater etal. (2011)
Decrease in cancer viability Cancer cell line: LS180]MTT test] Ethanol and ether extracts of invitro
grown mycelium
Cyranka etal. (2011)
Inhibition of MMP-3, MMP-9,
Cancer cell line: A549 [zymography] Ethanol and ether extracts Zwolińska (2004)
Inhibition of MMP-9 Cancer cell line: HT-29 [zymography] Water extracts Lemieszek (2008)
Inhibition of MMP-1, MMP-3, MMP-9 [Hydrolysis of MMP protein sub-
strates—labeled synthetic peptides]
Kawagishi etal. ( 2002)
Inhibition of MMP-1 [Hydrolysis of MMP protein sub-
strates—labeled synthetic peptides]
polyporenic acid C Kawagishi etal. (2002)
Inhibition of cancer cells proliferation Cancer cell lines: A549, C6, HEp-2,
HT-29, Jurkat E6.1, RPMI 8226,
T47D, TE671 [MTT test]
Ethanol extracts Pleszczyńska etal. (2016), Wasyl
(2006), Żyła etal. (2005), Zwolińska
Cancer cell lines: A549, HT-29, T47D
[MTT test]
Ethanol extracts of cultivated fruiting
Pleszczyńska etal. (2016)
Cancer cell lines: A549, C6, FTC238,
HEp-2, HeLa, HT-29, Jurkat E6.1,
RPMI 8226, SK-N-AS, T47D,
TE671 [MTT test]
Ether extract Wasyl (2006), Kaczor etal. (2004),
Zwolińska (2004)
Cancer cell lines: A549, C6, HT-29,
Jurkat E6.1, T47D [MTT test]
Water extracts Pleszczyńska etal. (2016), Lemieszek
etal. (2009), Zwolińska (2004)
Cancer cell lines: A549, HT-29, T47D
[MTT test]
Water extracts of cultivated fruiting
Pleszczyńska etal. (2016)
Cancer cell lines: A549, T47D [MTT
Polyporenic acid A Zwolińska (2004)
Inhibition of DNA synthesis Cancer cell line: C6 [BrdU test] Ethanol extracts Wasyl (2006)
Cancer cell lines: A549, C6 [BrdU
Water extracts Lemieszek etal. (2009)
Alterations in cell cycle progression—
accumulation of cancer cells in the
“S” phase
Cancer cell line: FTC238 [flow
Ether extract Kaczor etal. (2004)
Inhibition of cancer cell growth Mouse sarcoma S-37 [not given] Extracts Blumenberg and Kessler (1963)
World J Microbiol Biotechnol (2017) 33:83
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resistance and therefore further increase the effective-
ness of the active substances. Particularly noteworthy
among the wide variety of biological activities of F.
betulina extract, are properties proved in invivo studies,
e.g. the efficacy of water and ethanol extracts in treat-
ment of the genital tract in dogs (Utzig and Samborski
1957; Wandokanty etal. 1954, 1955) or mice protection
from lethal infection with the TBE virus by water, etha-
nol, and ether extracts (Kandefer-Szerszeń et al. 1981;
Kandefer-Szerszeń and Kawecki 1974, 1979). The broad
spectrum of antiviral and antimicrobial activity of F. bet-
ulina extracts proved by a number of research teams in
different models based on different techniques deserves
special attention as well (see references cited in Table1).
Recently, Stamets (2011, 2014) has invented formulations
prepared from different medicinal mushrooms including
F. betulina, which are useful in preventing and treating
viral and bacterial diseases, i.e. herpes, influenza, SARS,
hepatitis, tuberculosis, and infections with E. coli and S.
aureus .
Some pure compounds corresponding to the bioactiv-
ity of the birch polypore were also identified (Fig.2).
They belong to several chemical classes but the greatest
attention was paid to small molecular weight second-
ary metabolites, especially triterpenoids. Kamo et al.
(2003) isolated several triterpenoid carboxylic acids
with a lanostane skeleton, e.g. polyporenic acids and
their derivatives (Table 1). In in vivo tests, the sub-
stances suppressed TPA-induced mouse ear inflamma-
tion up to 49–86% at the dose of 0.4µM/ear. Alresly etal.
(2016) purified one previously unknown (identified as
3β-acetoxy-16α hydroxyl-24-oxo-5α-lanosta-8-ene-21-
oic acid) and ten known triterpenes from ethyl acetate
extract of fruiting bodies of the fungus. The new com-
pound showed anti-gram-positive bacteria activity. The
medicinal activity of some triterpenoids tested was exam-
ined more accurately. It was shown that polyporenic acid
C, just like another compound isolated from F. betulina,
i.e. (E)-2-(4-hydroxy-3methyl-2-butenyl)-hydroquinone,
had inhibitory activity against some matrix metallopro-
teinases (MMP), with IC50 values (concentration causing
inhibition by 50% compared to control) in the range from
23 to 128µM (Kawagishi etal. 2002). Polyporenic acid C
and three other F. betulina triterpenoids (Table1) showed
anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity by strong
inhibition of 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and bac-
terial hyaluronate lyase activity, respectively (Wangun
etal. 2004).
In their search for fungal antimicrobial substances,
Schlegel et al. (2000) isolated another valuable com-
pound—piptamine, N-benzyl-N-methylpentadecan-
1-amine from submerged culture of F. betulina Lu 9-1.
It showed activity against gram-positive bacteria (MIC,
Table 1 (continued)
Biological activity Mechanism of biological activity Model [method of study] ExtractaActive compoundaReferences
Tumor size reduction by induction of
cancer cell necrolysis and inhibition
of metastases
Female dogs with adenocarcinoma
mammae, adenocarcinoma solidum,
adenocarcinoma papilliferum
[histopathological examination after
Hansen staining]
Water extracts Pentacyclic triterpenes (suggested) Wandokanty etal. (1954; 1955)
Tumor size reduction and inhibition of
bleeding from the genital tract
Female dogs with Sticker’s sarcoma
[per vaginal examination]
Ethanol extracts Pentacyclic triterpenes (suggested) Utzig and Samborski (1957)
Neuroprotec-tion Protection of neurons against damage
induced by cisplatine, trophic stress,
Mouse neurons—10-day old [LDH
Ethanol and ether extracts Wasyl (2006)
Cancer cell lines: A549—human Caucasian lung carcinoma, C6—rat glioma, FTC238—human thyroid carcinoma, HeLa—human cervical adenocarcinoma, Hep-2 (HeLa derivative)—human
cervix carcinoma, HT-29—human colon adenocarcinoma, Jurkat E6.1—human T-cell leukemia, LS180—human colorectal adenocarcinoma, RPMI 8226—human multiple myeloma, SK-N-
AS—human neuroblastoma, T47D—human breast ductal carcinoma, T671—human rhabdomyosarcoma/medulloblastoma
a Extracts/compounds were isolated from fruiting bodies of wild growing F. betulina, unless otherwise indicated
3α-HSD 3-α hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, BrdU − 5-bromo-2’-deoxyuridine, COX-1 cyclooxygenase-1, DPPH 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, ELISA enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay,
FRAP ferric ion reducing antioxidant power, LDCL luminol-dependent chemiluminescence, LDH lactate dehydrogenase, MTT methylthiazolyldiphenyl-tetrazolium bromide, NCCLS National
Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards
World J Microbiol Biotechnol (2017) 33:83
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83 Page 8 of 12
Fig. 2 Chemical structures of bioactive compounds isolated from F. betulina
World J Microbiol Biotechnol (2017) 33:83
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Page 9 of 12 83
minimum inhibitory concentration, values in the range
from 0.78 to 12.5 µg/ml) and yeasts including Candida
albicans (MIC 6.25µg/ml).
Polysaccharides from higher basidiomycota mushrooms
have been usually considered to be the major contributors
of their bioactivity. However, birch polypore polysaccha-
rides have not yet been sufficiently explored, in terms of
either the structure or pharmacological activity. It is known
that the Fomitopsis cell wall contains (13)-β-d-glucans
in an amount of ca. 52% dw (Jelsma and Kreger 1978;
Grün 2003). They are built from β-d-glucopyranose units
connected with (13)-linkages in the main chain, with
(13)-β-d linked side branches. However, there are no
reports about their biological activities. Another polysac-
charide isolated from the birch polypore was water-insolu-
ble, alkali-soluble (13)-α-d-glucan. Although α-glucans
are believed to be biologically inactive, its carboxymethyl-
ated derivative showed moderate cytotoxic effects invitro
(Wiater etal. 2011).
Miscellaneous applications
With the knowledge of the mechanisms of action of brown
rot decay, there are possibilities of new applications of
these fungi in biotechnology. The enzymatic and non-enzy-
matic apparatus for lignocellulose degradation can be used
for bioprocessing of biomass towards fuels and chemicals
(Arantes et al. 2012; Giles and Parrow 2011; Ray et al.
2010). Brown rot fungi, including F. betulina, were tested
for bioleaching of heavy metals (Cu, Cr, and As) from
wood preservatives due to accumulation of metal-complex-
ing oxalic acid (Sierra Alvarez 2007). Production of bio-
mass degrading enzymes, for instance cellulases, hemicel-
lulases, amylases, etc., was also studied (Krupodorova etal.
2014; Valášková and Baldrian 2006a, b).
The cell wall of F. betulina can be a source of useful pol-
ysaccharides, e.g. water-insoluble, alkali-soluble α-glucans
(Grün 2003; Jelsma and Kreger 1979). (13)-α-d-glucans
whose main chain contains 84.6% of (13)-linked α-d-
glucopyranose in addition to 6% of (14)-linked units were
purified and characterized by Wiater etal. (2011). Another
polysaccharide, named piptoporane I, was extracted and
purified by Olennikov etal. (2012). This α-glucan was built
from residues of (13)-α-d-glucopyranose with occasional
branching by single residues of β-d-glucopyranose at the C6
position (17.3%). It has been shown that fungal (13)-α-d-
glucans, including that from F. betulina, effectively induce
the production of microbial (13)-α-glucanases (mutan-
ases), i.e. enzymes that have potential in dental caries
prevention. (13),(16)-α-d-Glucans (mutans) synthe-
sized by mutans streptococci are key structural and func-
tional constituents of dental plaque matrix; therefore, they
seem to be a good target for enzymatic anti-caries strategy
(Pleszczyńska etal. 2015). However, streptococcal glucans
are difficult to use as inducers of mutanases because of the
low yield and structural variation. Birch polypore α-glucan,
whose amount in the cell wall of F. betulina reaches even
44–53% dw (Grün 2003), can be used to replace strepto-
coccal glucans (Wiater etal. 2008).
Conclusions andoutlook
The F. betulina fungus has been widely used and appreci-
ated in folk medicine, and modern pharmacological studies
have confirmed its potential indicating significant antimi-
crobial, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective
activities. The possibility of successful cultivation thereof
in artificial conditions additionally promotes the applica-
bility of the fungus. However, compared with other poly-
pore fungi, the research on F. betulina is less developed;
for instance, little is known about its lifestyle, including
the wood degradation strategy. Moreover, most of the bio-
activity studies have been performed using crude extracts;
hence, only a few of the effects have been associated with
the active substances identified, e.g. antibacterial activities
with piptamine or polyporenic acids. With a few excep-
tions, we still do not know the mechanisms underlying the
biological activities. Verification of biological activities
in invivo and clinical studies is also required. The further
research could contribute to better exploitation of the F.
betulina application potential.
Compliance with ethical standards
Competing interests The authors have no conflict of interest to
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Piptoporus betulinus, Fomes fomentarius and Inonotus obliquus.
Dissertation, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin,
Żyła M, Rzeski W, Kaczor J, Kandefer-Szerszeń M (2005) Birch tree
fungi–a source of substances with therapeutic properties (part
II). Med Ogólna 11:187–201
... It is also used in folk medicine for the treatment of wounds, gastric diseases and colon cancer due to its anti-parasitic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, disinfectant properties. DNA protective effect and antioxidant properties of the fungus is also suggested [Pleszczyńska et al., 2017]. Ethyl acetate extract of the polypor medicinal mushroom Fomitopsis pinicola, has significant antineoplastic and anti-cancer activity [Bishop, 2020]. ...
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New macromycetes collected from Goygol National Park including surrounding areas and herbarium specimens deposited to the herbaria were involved to the study. The diversity of fungi registered in the area was studied by morphological approaches. In total, 26 species were registered, of the identified species, Fomitopsis betulina is a new record for Azerbaijan.
... Based on molecular phylogenetic studies, P. betulinus was found more closely related to Fomitopsis than to Piptoporus and hence it was reclassified as Fomitopsis with the current name Fomitopsis betulina (Bull.) B.K. Cui, M.L. Han and Y.C. Dai Ortiz-Santana et al., 2013;Han et al., 2016;Pleszczyńska et al., 2017). The common names for the fungus include birch polypore, razor strop, or birch bracket mushroom. ...
... Despite these advantages, the material does not resemble bovine leather mechanically, and exhibits low tear resistance and tensile strength ( Table 1) as well as high abrasion susceptibility [2,34]. These poor mechanical properties most likely stem from the high α-glucan content of these materials, which can be as high as 53% dry weight (%dw) in Fomitopsis betulina [7,35,36]. To meet consumer expectations, amadou sheets must subsequently be laminated using backing materials such as fabrics, canvas, Vlieseline, Lyocell, paper, or cardboard. ...
Fungi are a revolutionary, smart, and sustainable manufacturing platform that can be used to upcycle byproducts and wastes into flexible fungal materials (FFMs) such as chitin- and β-glucan-based foams, paper, and textiles. With highly adaptable manufacturing pathways, the efficiency and properties of these materials depend on the biomass source and fermentation method. Liquid substrates provide fast, upscalable, and compact production processes but are susceptible to contamination and are limited to paper-like materials for printing, wound dressings, and membranes. Solid-state fermentation is cheaper but struggles to deliver homogeneous fungal growth and is used to produce fungal foams for packaging, insulation, textiles, and leather substitutes. The broad range of applications and uses of biological organisms in materials hallmarks fungi as forerunners in improving environmental sustainability globally.
... Selon Horst Aspöck, de l'Université de Vienne, il aurait été atteint d'une infection due à un parasite intestinal qui déclenche de violentes diarrhées. L'autopsie d'Ötzi a en effet permis de mettre en évidence qu'il était infesté par un parasite intestinal : Trichuris trichiura.Ainsi dans ses bagages en écorces, les traces de trois champignons « médicinaux » différents ont été retrouvées : du polypore du bouleau (Piptoporus betulinus), de l'amadouvier (Fomes fomentarius) et du chaga (Inonotus obliquus)(Figure 15)(Grunewald et al., 2018 ;Pleszczyńska et al., 2017). ...
Medicinal mushrooms have been used for several hundred years, mainly in Asian countries, for the treatment of various pathologies. More recently, they have been used in the treatment of cancer. As part of this thesis, we are particularly interested in the lingzhi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) also called immortality fungus, for its anticancer properties. We therefore reported on the mechanisms of action of both the total extracts of Ganoderma lucidum and the two main bioactive molecules groups, i.e., polysaccharides and triterpenes. Their efficiencies have been demonstrated through in vitro tests and clinical studies. Although these natural compounds have been shown to be effective as a standard therapy treatment in the treatment of cancer (used as monotherapy or in combination with radiotherapy or chemotherapy) in Japan and China for over 30 years, it is fundamental to mention that they can also have significant side effects requiring advices of uses for human health. RESUME : Les champignons médicinaux sont utilisés depuis plusieurs centaines d'années, principalement dans les pays asiatiques, pour le traitement de différentes pathologies. Plus récemment, ils ont été utilisés dans le traitement du cancer. Dans le cadre de cette thèse, nous nous sommes particulièrement intéressés au ganoderme luisant (Ganoderma lucidum) également appelé champignon de l’immortalité, pour ses propriétés anticancéreuses. Nous avons donc étudié les mécanismes d’action à la fois des extraits totaux de Ganoderma lucidum et des deux principaux groupes de molécules bioactives : les polysaccharides et les triterpènes. Leurs efficacités ont été mises en évidence au travers de tests in vitro et d’études cliniques. Bien que ces composés naturels aient prouvé leur efficacité en tant que traitement de support aux thérapeutiques standards dans le traitement du cancer (utilisations en monothérapie ou en association avec la radiothérapie ou la chimiothérapie) au Japon et en Chine depuis plus de 30 ans, il est fondamental de mentionner qu’ils peuvent également présenter des effets indésirables non négligeables nécessitant des conseils d’utilisations pour la santé humaine. MOTS-CLES : Cancer, Ganoderma lucidum, mécanismes d’action, polysaccharides, triterpènes
A COVID-19 surgiu de forma repentina, acometendo milhões de pessoas e causando muitas mortes no mundo todo. Diante disso, torna-se necessário a busca de substâncias bioativas com propriedades antivirais. No Brasil, a espécie Tetradenia riparia foi inserida como planta ornamental exótica, com aroma intenso e agradável, sendo cultivada em parques, jardins, residenciais e hortos. O objetivo deste estudo foi identificar compostos presentes no extrato bruto das folhas de Tetradenia riparia com interesse antiviral. O extrato bruto das folhas secas foi obtido por maceração dinâmica por esgotamento do solvente e após, concentrado em evaporador rotativo. A composição química do extrato bruto foi analisada por cromatografia líquida de ultra eficiência acoplada à espectrometria de massas de alta resolução (UHPLC-ESI/qTOF). Foram identificados 31 compostos que foram investigados por meio de levantamento bibliográfico quanto ao seu potencial anti- SARS-CoV-2. Os compostos rosmanol, procianidina, cianidina, betulina, ácido betulínico e o ácido sagerínico, apresentaram potencial atividade antiviral sobre o SARS-CoV-2. Esta investigação é promissora, indicando possivelmente que no extrato bruto das folhas de T. ripária existem compostos que podem combater o SARS-CoV-2. Neste sentido, estudos de ancoramento molecular (docking) e análises in silico sobre a proteína Mpro do vírus devem ser realizadas corroborando desta forma a ação dos compostos identificados.
Conference Paper
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Wood decay all around us The breakdown or decay of wood is a prominent process in landscape health and disease. The bulk of the energy captured and stored by natural woodlands, orchards, and agroforestry operations is allocated to produce wood. The release of that stored energy and the cycling of the constituent mineral elements into environmental pools and other organisms is through processes of wood decay. Wood decay is an ordered process, primarily through the biology of specialized fungi and associated microorganisms and arthropods. Traditionally, plant pathologists viewed wood decay in terms of lost economic value of timber, products, and secondarily as a potential source of risk for structural failure of urban and community trees. Mycologists studied the great diversity of wood decay fungi in terms of taxonomy or natural history. More recent research has focused on the role of wood decay in the development of healthy trees and forests and biogeochemical cycling. Although valued by some for food or craft materials, wood decay fungi are generally ignored or not even noticed by the general public. Whether escaping popular notice or not, wood decay fungi have had persistent effects on international relations, the history of science, and modern-day environmentalism and medicine, well beyond the limits of both natural history and timber production.
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The antibacterial activities of thirty mushroom species belonging to Basidiomycetes and Ascomycetes, cultivated on two liquid media, were evaluated against gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus) and gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria by the disk diffusion method. All of the mushrooms, except Auriporia aurea, Fomes fomentarius, and Lyophyllum shimeji, showed different antibacterial activity levels—from 9.5 mm in diameter of the inhibition zone to full inhibition of growth of the test bacteria. The antibacterial activities of Crinipellis schevczenkovi, Hohenbuehelia myxotricha, Oxyporus obducens, and Spongipellis litschaueri were observed for the first time. The antibacterial potential of culture liquids of the investigated species was higher than that of their mycelia activity. Dependence of the intensity of antibacterial activity on the culture medium was shown. The antibacterial efficiency of the most active species (Lentinus edodes, Piptoporus betulinus, and Phellinus igniarius) was verified and compared with those of some commercial antibiotics and natural essential oils of Salvia and Eucalyptus. The culture liquid of Piptoporus betulinus, obtained after cultivation on glucose-peptone-yeast culture medium, is a potential substance for further creation of antibacterial products.
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Piptoporus betulinus is a wood-rotting basidiomycete used in medicine and biotechnology. However, to date, no indoor method for cultivation of this mushroom fruiting bodies has been developed. Here we present the first report of successful production of P. betulinus mature fruiting bodies in artificial conditions. Four P. betulinus strains were isolated from natural habitats and their mycelia were inoculated into birch sawdust substrate supplemented with organic additives. All the strains effectively colonized the medium but only one of them produced fruiting bodies. Moisture and organic supplementation of the substrate significantly determined the fruiting process. The biological efficiency of the P. betulinus PB01 strain cultivated on optimal substrate (moisture and organic substance content of 55 and 65 and 25 or 35 %, respectively) ranged from 12 to 16 %. The mature fruiting bodies reached weight in the range from 50 to 120 g. Anticancer properties of water and ethanol extracts isolated from both cultured and nature-derived fruiting bodies of P. betulinus were examined in human colon adenocarcinoma, human lung carcinoma and human breast cancer cell lines. The studies revealed antiproliferative and antimigrative properties of all the investigated extracts. Nevertheless the most pronounced effects demonstrated the ethanol extracts, obtained from fruiting bodies of cultured P. betulinus. Summarizing, our studies proved that P. betulinus can be induced to fruit in indoor artificial culture and the cultured fruiting bodies can be used as a source of potential anticancer agents. In this respect, they are at least as valuable as those sourced from nature.
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To find out ability of fourteen basidiomycetes and four ascomycetes strains to grow in the presence of synthetic colour dyes and to degrade them, fungi were cultivated on the malt agar plates containing 0.5 g kg-1 dye, either Remazol Brilliant Blue R, Remazol Brilliant Yellow GL, Remazol Brilliant Orange 3 R, Reactive Blue 4, Remazol Brilliant Red F3B or Reactive Black 5. Fungi representing basidiomycetes were Phlebia radiata (FBCC 43), Tremella encephala (FBCC 1145), Dichomitus squalens (FBCC 312), Physisporinus rivulosus (syn. Obba rivulosa, FBCC 939), Cerrena unicolor (FBCC 387), Pleurotus abieticola (FBCC 517), Phanerochaete velutina (FBCC 941), Agrocybe praecox (FBCC 476), Trametes pubescens (FBCC 735), Pleurotus ostreatus (FBCC 498), Fomitopsis pinicola (FBCC 18), Postia placenta (= syn. Rhodonia placenta, FBCC 112), Gloeophyllum trabeum (FBCC 328) and Piptoporus betulinus (FBCC 1191). Ascomycetes belonged to genera Alternaria (HAMBI 3289), Epicoccum (HAMBI 3291), Fusarium (HAMBI 3292) or Chaetomium (HAMBI 3291). The growth rate of P. rivulosus belonged to three highest among the 14 tested basidiomycetes with five dyes, but not in the case of Remazol Brilliant Red F3B containing plates. The growth rate of A. praecox belonged to three lowest among the 14 tested basidiomycetes on Remazol Brilliant Blue R, Remazol Brilliant Yellow GL, Remazol Brilliant Red F3B, Reactive Black 5 and malt agar. The growth rate of Chaetomium sp. was the highest among the four ascomycetes on all tested plates. Decolorization was seen with 7 basidiomycetous strains on Remazol Brilliant Blue R, with 7 basidiomycetes on Remazol Brilliant Orange 3 R, with 8 basidiomycetes on Reactive Blue 4 and 11 basidiomycetes on Reactive Black 5 containing plates. T. encephala did not decolorize any of the tested six dyes. Epicoccum sp. and Chaetomium sp. decolorized Reactive Black 5 dye containing plates. None of the fourteen basidiomycetous or four ascomycetes were able to degrade all the tested six dyes. © 2016 E. Samuel Hartikainen, Otto Miettinen, Annele Hatakka and Mika A. Kähkönen.
Conference Paper
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The morphology and growth rate of over 70 strains of 20 species of edible and medicinal mushrooms from the culture collection of N.G. Kholodny Institute of Botany, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine were studied on 5 agar media. The optimal incubation time, temperature, and suitable media were determined for each culture. One natural and three synthetic liquid media with mineral and organic nitrogen sources were also tested. The effect of medium pH on the mycelial growth was determined by using phosphate buffers with pH values between 3.0 - 8.0. In each stage of inoculum preparation we used physiologically active mycelia. Factors affecting mycelial growth of some medicinal mushrooms in submerged culture were investigated. Inoculum size and composition and nutrient medium pH were important for maximising growth rate and biomass yield and minimising the duration of the lag phase of growth. Techniques for laboratory scale submerged culture of some medicinal mushrooms including Agrocybe aegerita (Brit.) Sing., Auricularia auricula (Bull.) Wettst., Flammulina velutipes (Curt.: Fr.) P.Karst., Ganoderma lucidum (Curt.: Fr.) P.Karst., Grifola frondosa (Dicks.: Fr.) S.F. Gray, Hypsizygus marmoreus (Bull.: Fries) Singer, Lentinula edodes (Berk.) Sing., Piptoporus betulinus (Bull.: Fr.) Karst., Pleurotus ostreatus (Jacq.: Fr.) Kumm. and others were determined.
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Taxonomic and phylogenetic studies on the brown-rot fungi, Fomitopsis and its related genera, are carried out. On the basis of morphological characters and phylogenetic evidence of DNA sequences of multiple loci including the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions, the large subunit nuclear ribosomal RNA gene (nLSU), the small subunit nuclear ribosomal RNA gene (nSSU), the small subunit mitochondrial rRNA gene sequences (mtSSU), the translation elongation factor 1-α gene (tef1) and the second subunit of RNA polymerase II (rpb2), six new genera, Fragifomes, Niveoporofomes, Piptoporellus, Rhodofomitopsis, Rubellofomes and Ungulidaedalea are established. Four new species, Buglossoporus eucalypticola, Daedalea allantoidea, Piptoporellus hainanensis and P. triqueter are descibed from China. Illustrated descriptions of the novel species are provided. Identification keys to Fomitopsis and its related genera, as well as keys to the species of each genus are provided.
Priority effects among wood decomposers have been demonstrated by manipulating fungal assembly history via inoculations in dead wood and then tracking community development using DNA sequencing. Individual wood‐degrading fungi have been shown, however, to initiate decay after having colonized living trees as endophytes. To track these ‘upstream’ colonizers across the endophyte–saprophyte transition, we coupled high‐throughput sequencing with wood physiochemical analyses in stem sections extracted from healthy birch trees ( Betula papyrifera ; 4–7 cm dia.). We incubated wood in microcosms, limiting communities as endophytes−only or challenging endophytes with Fomes fomentarius or Piptoporus betulinus at high exogenous inoculum potential. Initial fungal richness in birch stems averaged 143 OTU s and decreased nearly threefold after five months of decomposition. Although F. fomentarius successfully colonized some stem sections incubated at 25 °C, decayed wood was generally dominated by saprophytic fungi that were present originally in lower abundances as endophytes. Among saprophytes, fungi in the brown rot functional guild consistently dominated, matching wood residues bearing the chemical hallmarks of brown rot. Despite this functionally redundant outcome, the taxa that rose to dominate in individual sections varied. Surprisingly, the brown rot taxa dominating wood decomposition were better known for lumber degradation rather than log decay in ground contact. Given the isolation from colonizers in our design, this redundancy of brown rot as the outcome suggests that these taxa and more generally brown rot fungi could have adapted to decompose wood where there is lower competitive pressure. Competitive avoidance would complement the diffuse depolymerization mechanisms of brown rot fungi, which are likely more prone to sugar pilfering by other organisms than the processive depolymerization mechanisms of white rot fungi. Overall, this guild‐level predictability of fungal endophyte development and consequence is encouraging given the challenges of predicting wood decomposition, and it provides a base for testing these dynamics under increasing natural complexity.
Supercritical CO2 extraction of fruiting bodies of Piptoporus betulinus at 60°C and 10–34.5 MPa was studied. Extracts obtained at 30–34 MPa contained compounds (sterols, terpenes, antibiotics) responsible for the anti-inflammatory and antibiotic activity of the fungus.
The birch polypore Piptoporus betulinus was among two mushrooms that were found in the Iceman’s bag. Recent studies indicated that P. betulinus was probably used as a religious and medicinal item. In order to examine the medicinal potential of P. betulinus, hot water (HW), partially purified (PP), and alkali extract (HA) were prepared and tested for antioxidant, antimicrobial, cytotoxic, and angiotensin I–converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity. All tested samples exhibited moderate cytotoxic activity, and HW appeared as the most effective (IC50 = 0.8 ± 0.1 mg/ml for HeLa cells). HA proved to be a good 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenger and exhibited the strongest ferric-reducing power (EC50 = 0.07 ± 0.3 mg/ml). The same extract (HA) also expressed the strongest ferric-reducing power (EC50 = 0.99 ± 0.1 mg/ml). Hot alkali extraction contributed significantly to ACE inhibitory activity (EC50 = 0.06 ± 0.00 mg/ml) and to antimicrobial activity, especially against highly resistant Enterococcus faecalis (minimum inhibitory concentration: 0.156 ± 0.000 mg/ml; and minimum bactericidal concentration: 1.25 ± 0.00 mg/ml).
Homobasidiomycetes include the mushroomforming fungi and related taxa. Over 13000 species of homobasidiomycetes have been described, which is equal to approximately 23% of all known species of eumycota (Hawksworth et al. 1995). Homobasidiomycetes occur in all terrestrial ecosystems, including deserts, and there are also a few aquatic species, in both marine and freshwater habitats (Kohlmeyer and Kohlmeyer 1979; Desjardin et al. 1995). The oldest unambiguous homobasidiomycete fossils are from the mid-Cretaceous, but indirect evidence, including molecular clock dating, suggests that the group may have been in existence by the late Triassic (ca. 200 ma; Berbee and Taylor 1993; Hibbett et al. 1997a). In contemporary ecosystems, homobasidiomycetes function as saprotrophs, plant pathogens, and partners in diverse symbioses, including ectomycorrhizae. Thus, homobasidiomycetes play a significant role in the carbon cycle, and they have a profound economic impact on agricultural industries, especially forestry. Finally, homobasidiomycetes are culturally significant, having served as food, drugs, and spiritual symbols in diverse human societies.
In this study, four species of wood-rot fungi-Piptoporus betulinus, Fomes fomentarius, Irpex lacteus, and Coriolus versicolor-were compared regarding their ability to degrade the wood of white birch and used to assess the degradation mechanisms. Chemical analyses were conducted following the Chinese national standard methods and included Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The wood samples were inoculated with the four wood-rot fungi for a predetermined duration in the wood-decaying test. In the wood weight loss test, both F. fomentarius and P. betulinus showed the greatest reduction, but through different mechanisms: F. fomentarius mainly decomposed lignin, whereas P. betulinus mainly acted on cellulose. F. fomentarius, I. lacteus, and C. versicolor exhibited a shift at 3417 cm-1 related to O-H stretching in hydroxyl groups, along with decreased absorption at 3410, 3406, and 3405 cm-1, most likely due to the degradation of the related functional groups of lignin side chains. The wood decayed by P. betulinus displayed a change in the relative position of cellulose-associated bands at 1161 and 898 cm-1. F. fomentarius can be considered a potential agent for the biopulping of white birch because of its high ability to degrade lignin, high holocellulose content, low content of 1% NaOH, and ethanol-benzene extractives.