Cordyceps

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Cordyceps
2010-08-06 Cordyceps militaris 1.jpg
Cordyceps militaris
Scientific classification
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Genus:
Cordyceps

Fr. (1818)
Type species
Cordyceps militaris
(L.) Fr. (1818)
Species

about 400

Cordyceps /ˈkɔːrdɪsɛps/ is a genus of ascomycete fungi (sac fungi) that includes about 400 species. Most Cordyceps species are endoparasitoids, parasitic mainly on insects and other arthropods (they are thus entomopathogenic fungi); a few are parasitic on other fungi. The generic name Cordyceps is derived from the Greek word κορδύλη kordýlē, meaning "club", and the Greek word κεφάλι, meaning "head".

The genus has a worldwide distribution and most of the approximately 400 species[1] that have been described are from Asia (notably Nepal, China, Japan, Bhutan, Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand). Cordyceps species are particularly abundant and diverse in humid temperate and tropical forests.

Species[edit]

C. sinensis was shown in 2007 by nuclear DNA sampling to be unrelated to most of the rest of the members of the genus; as a result it was renamed Ophiocordyceps sinensis and placed in a new family, the Ophiocordycipitaceae, as was "Cordyceps unilateralis".[2] Other species previously included in the genus Cordyceps have now been placed in the genus Tolypocladium.[citation needed]

Cordyceps and Metacordyceps spp. are now thought to be the teleomorphs of a number of anamorphic, entomopathogenic fungus "genera" such as: Beauveria (Cordyceps bassiana), Lecanicillium, Metarhizium and Nomuraea.[citation needed]

Biology[edit]

When a Cordyceps fungus attacks a host, the mycelium invades and eventually replaces the host tissue, while the elongated fruit body (ascocarp) may be cylindrical, branched, or of complex shape. The ascocarp bears many small, flask-shaped perithecia containing asci. These, in turn, contain thread-like ascospores, which usually break into fragments and are presumably infective.[citation needed]

Research[edit]

Polysaccharide components and cordycepin are under basic research and have been isolated from C. militaris.[3][4]

Traditional Chinese medicine[edit]

Cordyceps are used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine.[5] Limited trials in humans suggest some benefit in kidney disease.[6][7]

In popular culture[edit]

The Last of Us, a 2013 video game developed by Naughty Dog, portrays a fictional Cordyceps fungus that has mutated to infect human hosts, with apocalyptic results.[8]

Additionally, the books The Girl with All the Gifts and The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey feature Cordyceps spreading to the human population set in a post-apocalyptic world.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sung, Gi-Ho; Nigel L. Hywel-Jones; Jae-Mo Sung; J. Jennifer Luangsa-ard; Bhushan Shrestha & Joseph W. Spatafora (2007). "Phylogenetic classification of Cordyceps and the clavicipitaceous fungi". Stud Mycol. 57 (1): 5–59. doi:10.3114/sim.2007.57.01. PMC 2104736. PMID 18490993.
  2. ^ Holliday, John; Cleaver, Matt (2008). "Medicinal Value of the Caterpillar Fungi Species of the Genus Cordyceps (Fr.) Link (Ascomycetes). A Review" (PDF). International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. New York: Begell House. 10 (3): 219–234. doi:10.1615/IntJMedMushr.v10.i3.30. ISSN 1521-9437.
  3. ^ Khan, MA; Tania, M; Zhang, D; Chen, H (May 2010). "Cordyceps Mushroom: A Potent Anticancer Nutraceutical" (PDF). The Open Nutraceuticals Journal. 3: 179–183. doi:10.2174/1876396001003010179. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 March 2012.
  4. ^ Nakamura, K; Shinozuka, K; Yoshikawa, N (2015). "Anticancer and antimetastatic effects of cordycepin, an active component of Cordyceps sinensis". Journal of Pharmacological Sciences. 127 (1): 53–6. doi:10.1016/j.jphs.2014.09.001. PMID 25704018.
  5. ^ Yue, K; Ye, M; Zhou, Z; Sun, W; Lin, X (April 2013). "The genus Cordyceps: a chemical and pharmacological review". The Journal of pharmacy and pharmacology. 65 (4): 474–93. doi:10.1111/j.2042-7158.2012.01601.x. PMID 23488776.
  6. ^ Hong, T; Zhang, M; Fan, J (12 October 2015). "Cordyceps sinensis (a traditional Chinese medicine) for kidney transplant recipients". The Cochrane database of systematic reviews (10): CD009698. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009698.pub2. PMID 26457607.
  7. ^ Hong, T; Zhang, M; Fan, J (12 October 2015). "Cordyceps sinensis (a traditional Chinese medicine) for kidney transplant recipients". The Cochrane database of systematic reviews (10): CD009698. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009698.pub2. PMID 26457607.
  8. ^ Grounded: The Making of The Last of Us. 2014-02-28. Event occurs at 13m28s.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bensky, D.; Gamble, A.; Clavey, S.; Stoger, E.; Lai Bensky, L. (2004). Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica (3rd ed.). Seattle: Eastland Press. ISBN 978-0-939616-42-8.
  • Kobayasi, Y. (1941). "The genus Cordyceps and its allies". Science Reports of the Tokyo Bunrika Daigaku, Sect. B. 5: 53–260. ISSN 0371-3547.
  • Mains, E. B. (1957). "Species of Cordyceps parasitic on Elaphomyces". Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 84 (4): 243–251. doi:10.2307/2482671. ISSN 0040-9618. JSTOR 2482671.
  • Mains, E. B. (1958). "North American entomogenous species of Cordyceps". Mycologia. 50 (2): 169–222. doi:10.2307/3756193. ISSN 0027-5514. JSTOR 3756193.
  • Tzean, S. S.; Hsieh, L. S.; Wu, W. J. (1997). Atlas of entomopathogenic fungi from Taiwan. Taiwan: Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan.
  • Paterson, R. R. M. (2008). "Cordyceps - a traditional Chinese medicine and another fungal therapeutic biofactory?". Phytochemistry. 69 (7): 1469–1495. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2008.01.027. PMID 18343466.

External links[edit]