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Volume 12 Part 2 Article 50
Year 1989
Title: Physiological Activity of the New Fungous Genus, Phytocordyceps
Authors: C.H. Su, L.L. Yang, H.H. Wang, K.Y. Yen and T.C. Tung

Abstract:

In the traditional Chinese medical literature, Cordyceps sinensis (Berk) Sacc. is known for its remedial effect in case of tuberculosis and other unspecified symptoms such like phlegm, blood spitting, cough, sexual impotence, tireness, and anaemia. It is also used as tonic, invigorator, astringent and sedative (Liu and Bau, 1981). However, two reasons, which limited the study of this entomogenous fungus, might be mentioned here: 1) only natural specimen at high prices is obtainable in southern provinces of China, and 2) the cultivation of C. sinensis is difficult - very few species among the genus Cordyceps have been reported to produce stromata in culture (Kobayasi, 1941; Basith and Madelin, 1968; Pacioni and Frizzi, 1978). In 1985 in Taiwan, the authors found a new genus, Phytocordyceps• The single species was later named as P. ninchukispora Su & Wang (Su and Wang, 1986) , which has a strong resemblance to Cordyceps in the characteristics of stroma, perithecium and ascus, but not in ascospore and host. The culture of P. ninchukispora has been induced to produce stromata and mature perithecia consistently and abundantly on asparagine and tetracycline supplemented potato/dextrose agar.

The present research was a preliminary study for C. sinensis and P. ninchukispora comparing their physiological activity by the established animal bioassay systems in respect to immunological effect, interferon induction, hepatotoxic potential activity, reduction of plasma glucose, hypnotic and analgestic effect. From the result some clues were expected to explain the medical effect described by ancient Chinese.

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