Edited by Ho Dinh Hai Long An - Vietnam Updated: 03/11/2015
1- Introduction to Fungi
1.1- Overview A fungus (/ˈfʌŋɡəs/; plural: fungi or funguses) is any member of the group of eukaryotic organisms that includes unicellular microorganisms such as yeasts and molds, as well as multicellular fungi that produce familiar fruiting forms known as mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, Fungi, which is separate from the other life kingdoms of plants, animals, protists, and bacteria. One difference that places fungi in a different kingdom is that its cell walls contain chitin, unlike the cell walls of plants, bacteria and some protists. Similar to animals, fungi are heterotrophs, that is, they acquire their food by absorbing dissolved molecules, typically by secreting digestive enzymes into their environment. Growth is their means of mobility, except for spores, which may travel through the air or water (a few of which are flagellated). Fungi are the principal decomposers in ecological systems. These and other differences place fungi in a single group of related organisms, named the Eumycota (true fungi or Eumycetes), that share a common ancestor (is a monophyletic group). This fungal group is distinct from the structurally similar myxomycetes (slime molds) and oomycetes (water molds). The discipline of biology devoted to the study of fungi is known as mycology (from the Greek μύκης, mukēs, meaning "fungus"). In the past, mycology was regarded as a branch of botany; today it is a separate kingdom in biological taxonomy. Fungi are genetically more closely related to animals than to plants. Abundant worldwide, most fungi are inconspicuous because of the small size of their structures, and their cryptic lifestyles in soil, on dead matter. They are both symbionts of plants, animals, or other fungi and also parasites. They may become noticeable when fruiting, either as mushrooms or as molds. Fungi perform an essential role in the decomposition of organic matter and have fundamental roles in nutrient cycling and exchange in the environment. They have long been used as a direct source of food, in the form of mushrooms and truffles, as a leavening agent for bread, in the fermentation of various food products, such as wine, beer, and soy sauce. Since the 1940s, fungi have been used for the production of antibiotics, and, more recently, various enzymes produced by fungi are used industrially and in detergents. Fungi are also used as biological pesticides to control weeds, plant diseases and insect pests. Many species produce bioactive compounds called mycotoxins, such as alkaloids and polyketides, that are toxic to animals including humans. The fruiting structures of a few species contain psychotropic compounds and are consumed recreationally or in traditionalspiritual ceremonies. Fungi can break down manufactured materials and buildings, and become significant pathogens of humans and other animals. Losses of crops due to fungal diseases (e.g., rice blast disease) or food spoilage can have a large impact on human food supplies and local economies. The fungus kingdom encompasses an enormous diversity of taxa with varied ecologies, life cycle strategies, and morphologies ranging from unicellular aquatic chytrids to large mushrooms. However, little is known of the true biodiversity of Kingdom Fungi, which has been estimated at 1.5 million to 5 million species, with about 5% of these having been formally classified. Ever since the pioneering 18th and 19th century taxonomical works of Carl Linnaeus, Christian Hendrik Persoon, and Elias Magnus Fries, fungi have beenclassified according to their morphology (e.g., characteristics such as spore color or microscopic features) or physiology. Advances in molecular genetics have opened the way for DNA analysis to be incorporated into taxonomy, which has sometimes challenged the historical groupings based on morphology and other traits. Phylogenetic studies published in the last decade have helped reshape the classification of Kingdom Fungi, which is divided into one subkingdom, seven phyla, and ten subphyla. The classification of fungi is based largely on the characteristics of their spores and spore-bearing structures.
1.2- Etymology The English word fungusis directly adopted from the Latinfungus(mushroom), used in the writings of Horace and Pliny. This in turn is derived from the Greek word sphongos (σφογγος "sponge"), which refers to the macroscopic structures and morphology of mushrooms and molds; the root is also used in other languages, such as the German Schwamm("sponge") and Schimmel ("mold"). The use of the word mycology, which is derived from the Greek mykes (μύκης "mushroom") and logos(λόγος "discourse"), to denote the scientific study of fungi is thought to have originated in 1836 with English naturalist Miles Joseph Berkeley's publication The English Flora of Sir James Edward Smith, Vol. 5. A group of all the fungi present in a particular area or geographic region is known as mycobiota (plural noun, no singular), e.g., "the mycobiota of Ireland". Source: Fungus - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2- Introduction to Mushroom
2.1- Overview A mushroom (or toadstool) is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. The standard for the name "mushroom" is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus; hence the word "mushroom" is most often applied to those fungi (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) that have a stem (stipe), a cap (pileus), and gills (lamellae, sing.lamella) on the underside of the cap. These gills produce microscopic spores that help the fungus spread across the ground or its occupant surface. "Mushroom" describes a variety of gilled fungi, with or without stems, and the term is used even more generally, to describe both the fleshy fruiting bodies of some Ascomycota and the woody or leathery fruiting bodies of some Basidiomycota, depending upon the context of the word. Forms deviating from the standard morphology usually have more specific names, such as "bolete", "puffball", "stinkhorn", and "morel", and gilled mushrooms themselves are often called "agarics" in reference to their similarity to Agaricus or their place Agaricales. By extension, the term "mushroom" can also designate the entire fungus when in culture; the thallus (called a mycelium) of species forming the fruiting bodies called mushrooms; or the species itself.
2.2- Etymology The terms "mushroom" and "toadstool" go back centuries and were never precisely defined, nor was there consensus on application. The term "toadstool" was often, but not exclusively, applied to poisonous mushrooms or to those that have the classic umbrella-like cap-and-stem form. Between 1400 and 1600 AD, the terms tadstoles, frogstooles, frogge stoles, tadstooles, tode stoles, toodys hatte, paddockstool, puddockstool, paddocstol, toadstoole, and paddockstooles sometimes were used synonymously with mushrom, mushrum, muscheron, mousheroms, mussheron, or musserouns. The word has apparent analogies in Dutchpadde(n)stoel (toad-stool/chair, mushroom) and GermanKrötenschwamm (toad-fungus, alt. word for panther cap). In German folklore and old fairy tales, toads are often depicted sitting on toadstool mushrooms and catching, with their tongues, the flies that are said to be drawn to the Fliegenpilz, a German name for the toadstool, meaning "flies' mushroom". This is how the mushroom got another of its names, Krötenstuhl (a less-used German name for the mushroom), literally translating to "toad-stool". The term "mushroom" and its variations may have been derived from the French word mousseronin reference to moss (mousse). The toadstool's connection to toads may be direct, in reference to some species of poisonous toad, or may just be a case of phonosemantic matching from the German word. However, delineation between edible and poisonous fungi is not clear-cut, so a "mushroom" may be edible, poisonous, or unpalatable. The term "toadstool" is nowadays used in storytelling when referring to poisonous or suspect mushrooms. The classic example of a toadstool is Amanita muscaria. Cultural or social phobias of mushrooms and fungi may be related. The term "fungophobia" was coined by William Delisle Hay of England, who noted a national superstition or fear of "toadstools". He described the "fungus-hunter" as being contemptible and detailed the larger demographic's attitude toward mushrooms as "abnormal, worthless, or inexplicable". Fungophobia spread to the United States and Australia, where it was inherited from England. The underlying cause of a cultural fungophobia may also be related to the exaggerated importance placed on the few deadly and poisonous mushrooms found in the region of that culture. In these regions, mushrooms were also sometimes regarded as magic or satanic, their fruiting bodies appearing quickly overnight from underground. Some believed they were the Devil's fruit, and others that mushroom rings were magical portals.
2.3- Identification Identifying mushrooms requires a basic understanding of their macroscopic structure. Most are Basidiomycetes and gilled. Their spores, called basidiospores, are produced on the gills and fall in a fine rain of powder from under the caps as a result. At the microscopic level the basidiospores are shot off basidia and then fall between the gills in the dead air space. As a result, for most mushrooms, if the cap is cut off and placed gill-side-down overnight, a powdery impression reflecting the shape of the gills (or pores, or spines, etc.) is formed (when the fruit body is sporulating). The color of the powdery print, called a spore print, is used to help classify mushrooms and can help to identify them. Spore print colors include white (most common), brown, black, purple-brown, pink, yellow, and creamy, but almost never blue, green, or red. While modern identification of mushrooms is quickly becoming molecular, the standard methods for identification are still used by most and have developed into a fine art harking back to medieval times and the Victorian era, combined with microscopic examination. The presence of juices upon breaking, bruising reactions, odors, tastes, shades of color, habitat, habit, and season are all considered by both amateur and professional mycologists. Tasting and smelling mushrooms carries its own hazards because of poisons and allergens. Chemical tests are also used for some genera. In general, identification to genus can often be accomplished in the field using a local mushroom guide. Identification to species, however, requires more effort; one must remember that a mushroom develops from a button stage into a mature structure, and only the latter can provide certain characteristics needed for the identification of the species. However, over-mature specimens lose features and cease producing spores. Many novices have mistaken humid water marks on paper for white spore prints, or discolored paper from oozing liquids on lamella edges for colored spored prints. Source: Mushroom - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
3- Introduction to the Edible Mushrooms
3.1- Overview Edible mushrooms are the fleshy and ediblefruit bodies of several species of macrofungi (fungi which bear fruiting structures that are large enough to be seen with the naked eye). They can appear either below ground (hypogeous) or above ground (epigeous) where they may be picked by hand. Edibility may be defined by criteria that include absence of poisonous effects on humans and desirable taste and aroma. Edible mushrooms are consumed for their nutritional value and they are occasionally consumed for their supposed medicinal value. Mushrooms consumed by those practicing folk medicine are known as medicinal mushrooms. While hallucinogenic mushrooms (e.g. psilocybin mushrooms) are occasionally consumed for recreational or religious purposes, they can produce severe nausea and disorientation, and are therefore not commonly considered edible mushrooms. Edible mushrooms include many fungal species that are either harvested wild or cultivated. Easily cultivatable and common wild mushrooms are often available in markets, and those that are more difficult to obtain (such as the prized truffle and matsutake) may be collected on a smaller scale by private gatherers. Some preparations may render certain poisonous mushrooms fit for consumption. Before assuming that any wild mushroom is edible, it should be identified. Accurate determination and proper identification of a species is the only safe way to ensure edibility, and the only safeguard against possible accident. Some mushrooms that are edible for most people can cause allergic reactions in some individuals, and old or improperly stored specimens can cause food poisoning. Great care should therefore be taken when eating any fungus for the first time, and only small quantities should be consumed in case of individual allergies. Deadly poisonous mushrooms that are frequently confused with edible mushrooms and responsible for many fatal poisonings include several species of the Amanita genus, in particular, Amanita phalloides, the death cap. It is therefore better to eat only a few, easily recognizable, species, than to experiment indiscriminately. Moreover, even species of mushrooms that are normally edible may be dangerous, as mushrooms growing in polluted locations can accumulate pollutants such as heavy metals.
3.2- Sources of Edible Mushrooms + Commercially harvested wild edibles Some species are difficult to cultivate; others (particularly mycorrhizal species) have not yet been successfully cultivated. Some of these species are harvested from the wild, and can be found in markets. When in season they can be purchased fresh, and many species are sold dried as well. The following species are commonly harvested from the wild: 1- Boletus edulis or edible Boletus, native to Europe, known in Italian as Fungo Porcino (plural 'porcini') (Pig mushroom), in German as Steinpilz (Stone mushroom), in Russian as "white mushroom", in Albanian as (Wolf mushroom), in French the cèpe and in the UK as the Penny Bun. It also known as the king bolete, and is renowned for its delicious flavor. It is sought after worldwide, and can be found in a variety of culinary dishes. 2- Cantharellus cibarius (The chanterelle), The yellow chanterelle is one of the best and most easily recognizable mushrooms, and can be found in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. There are poisonous mushrooms which resemble it, though these can be confidently distinguished if one is familiar with the chanterelle's identifying features. 3- Cantharellus tubaeformis, the tube chanterelle or yellow-leg. 4- Clitocybe nuda, Blewit (or Blewitt). 5- Cortinarius caperatus, the Gypsy mushroom (recently moved from genus Rozites) 6- Craterellus cornucopioides, Trompette de la Mort or Horn of Plenty. 7- Grifola frondosa, known in Japan as maitake (also "hen of the woods" or "sheep’s head"); a large, hearty mushroom commonly found on or near stumps and bases of oak trees, and believed to have Macrolepiota procera properties. 8- Gyromitra esculenta, this "False morel" is prized by the Finns. This mushroom is deadly poisonous if eaten raw, but highly regarded when parboiled (see below). 9- Hericium erinaceus, a tooth fungus; also called "lion's mane mushroom." 10- Hydnum repandum, Sweet tooth fungus, Hedgehog mushroom or Hedgehog Fungus, urchin of the woods. 11- Lactarius deliciosus, Saffron milk cap, consumed around the world and prized in Russia. 12- Morchella species, (morel family) morels belong to the ascomycete grouping of fungi. They are usually found in open scrub, woodland or open ground in late spring. When collecting this fungus, care must be taken to distinguish it from the poisonous false morels, including Gyromitra esculenta. The Morel must be cooked before eating. - Morchella conicavar. Deliciosa. - Morchella esculentavar. Rotunda. 13- Pleurotus ostreatus, (Oyster Mushroom). 14- Tricholoma matsutake, the Matsutake, a mushroom highly prized in Japanese cuisine. 15- Tuber, species, (the truffle), Truffles have long eluded the modern techniques of domestication known as trufficulture. Although the field of trufficulture has greatly expanded since its inception in 1808, several species still remain uncultivated. Domesticated truffles include - Tuber borchii. - Tuber brumale. - Tuber indicum, Chinese black truffle. - Tuber macrosporum, Smooth black truffle. - Tuber mesentericum, The Bagnoli truffle. - Tuber aestivum, Black summer truffle.
+ Commercially cultivated fungi Mushrooms are used extensively in cooking, in many cuisines (notably Chinese, Korean, European, and Japanese). Though neither meat nor vegetable, mushrooms are known as the "meat" of the vegetable world. Most mushrooms sold in supermarkets have been commercially grown on mushroom farms. The most popular of these, Agaricus bisporus, is considered safe for most people to eat because it is grown in controlled, sterilized environments. Several varieties of A. bisporus are grown commercially, including whites, crimini, and portobello. Other cultivated species now available at many grocers include shiitake, maitake or hen-of-the-woods, oyster, and enoki. In recent years, increasing affluence in developing countries has led to a considerable growth in interest in mushroom cultivation, which is now seen as a potentially important economic activity for small farmers. The commercially cultivated fungi include: 1- Agaricus bisporus, also known as champignon and the button mushroom. This species also includes the portobello and crimini mushrooms. 2- Auricularia polytricha or Auricularia auricula-judae (Tree ear fungus), two closely related species of jelly fungi that are commonly used in Chinese cuisine. 3- Flammulina velutipes, the "winter mushroom", also known as enokitake in Japan. 4- Hypsizygus tessulatus (also Hypsizygus marmoreus), called shimeji in Japanese, it is a common variety of mushroom available in most markets in Japan. Known as "Beech mushroom" in Europe. 5- Lentinus edodes, also known as shiitake, oak mushroom. Lentinus edodes is largely produced in Japan, China and South Korea. Lentinus edodes accounts for 10% of world production of cultivated mushrooms. Common in Japan, China, Australia and North America. 6- Pleurotus species are the second most important mushrooms in production in the world, accounting for 25% of total world production. Pleurotus mushrooms are cultivated worldwide; China is the major producer. Several species can be grown on carbonaceous matter such as straw or newspaper. In the wild they are usually found growing on wood. - Pleurotus cornucopiae - Pleurotus eryngii (king trumpet mushroom) - Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushroom) 7- Rhizopus oligosporus- the fungal starter culture used in the production of tempeh. In tempeh the mycelia of R. oligosporus are consumed. 8- Sparassis crispa - recent developments have led to this being cultivated in California. It is cultivated on large scale in Korea and Japan. 9- Tremella fuciformis (Snow fungus), another type of jelly fungus that is commonly used inChinese cuisine. 10- Tuberspecies, (the truffle), Truffles belong to the ascomycete grouping of fungi. The truffle fruitbodies develop underground in mycorrhizal association with certain trees e.g. oak, poplar, beech, and hazel. Being difficult to find, trained pigs or dogs are often used to sniff them out for easy harvesting. - Tuber aestivum (Summer or St. Jean truffle) - Tuber magnatum (Piemont white truffle) - Tuber melanosporum (Périgord truffle) - Tuber melanosporum x Tuber magnatum (Khanaqa truffle) 11- Terfezia sp. (Desert truffle) 12- Ustilago maydis(Corn smut), a fungal pathogen of the maize plants. Also called the Mexican truffle, although not a true truffle. 13- Volvariella volvacea (the "Paddy straw mushroom.") Volvariella mushrooms account for 16% of total production of cultivated mushrooms in the world. 14- Fusarium venenatum- the source for mycoprotein which is used in Quorn, a meat analogue. Source: Fungiculture - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia