Trametes versicolor

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"Turkey tail" redirects here. For the tail of a turkey, see Pygostyle.

Trametes versicolor – also known as Coriolus versicolor and Polyporus versicolor – is a common polypore mushroom found throughout the world. Meaning 'of several colours', versicolor reliably describes this mushroom found in different colors. By example, due to its resembling multiple colors in the tail of wild turkey, T. versicolor is commonly called turkey tail.

Description and Ecology[edit]

The top surface of the cap shows typical concentric zones of different colours. The flesh is 1–3 mm thick and has leathery texture. Older specimens, such as the one pictured, can have zones with green algae growing on them, thus appearing green. It commonly grows in tiled layers. The cap is rust-brown or darker brown, sometimes with blackish zones. The cap is flat, up to 8 x 5 x 0.5-1 cm in area. It is often triangular or round, with zones of fine hairs. The pore surface is whitish to light brown, pores round and with age twisted and labyrinthine. 2-5 pores per millimeter.

It may be eaten by caterpillars of the fungus moth Nemaxera betulinella and by maggots of the Platypezid fly Polyporivora picta.[1]


T. versicolor contains a range of immunologically active polysaccharides, including the protein-bound PSP and B-1,3 and B-1,4 glucans.[2] The lipid fraction contains the lanostane-type tetracyclic triterpenoid sterol ergosta-7,22,dien-3B-ol as well as fungisterol and B-sitosterol.[3][4]

Medical Research and Uses[edit]

Anticancer Effects[edit]

Main article: Polysaccharide-K

According to the American Cancer Society: "Available scientific evidence does not support claims that the raw mushroom itself is an effective anti-cancer agent in humans. But there is some scientific evidence that substances derived from parts of the mushroom may be useful against cancer."[5]

Polysaccharide-K (PSK) displays anticancer activity in preliminary laboratory assessments in vitro,[6] in vivo[7] and in preliminary human research.[8] Other basic research showed that PSK might reduce mutagen-induced, radiation-induced and spontaneously induced development of experimental cancer cell preparations.[9] PSK is beneficial as an adjuvant in the treatment of gastric, esophageal, colorectal, breast and lung cancers.[10] Human pilot studies indicate PSK adjuvants might reduce cancer recurrence.[8][11] Other basic research demonstrated that the mushroom inhibited certain human cancer cell lines in vitro.[12][13][14]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chandler, Peter J. (2001), The Flat-footed flies (Opetiidae and Platypezidae) of Europe, Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 36, Leiden: Brill, pp. 1–278, ISBN 90-04-12023-8 
  2. ^ Sakagami, H (1993). "Diverse biological activity of PSK (Krestin), a protein-bound polysaccharide from Coriolus versicolor.". Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products: 237–245. 
  3. ^ Yokoyama, A (1975). "Distribution of tetracyclic triterpenoids of lanostane group and sterols in higher fungi especially of the polyporacea and related families.". Phytochemistry 14: 487–497. 
  4. ^ Endo, S (1981). "Lipids of five species of polyporacea". Tokyo Gakugei 16. 
  5. ^ "Coriolus Versicolor". American Cancer Society. November 2008. 
  6. ^ Jiménez-Medina E, Berruguilla E, Romero I; et al. (2008), "The immunomodulator PSK induces in vitro cytotoxic activity in tumour cell lines via arrest of cell cycle and induction of apoptosis", BMC Cancer 8: 78, doi:10.1186/1471-2407-8-78, PMC 2291471, PMID 18366723. 
  7. ^ Yamasaki A, Shoda M, Iijima H; et al. (March 2009), "A protein-bound polysaccharide, PSK, enhances tumor suppression induced by docetaxel in a gastric cancer xenograft model", Anticancer Res. 29 (3): 843–50, PMID 19414318. 
  8. ^ a b Oba K, Teramukai S, Kobayashi M, Matsui T, Kodera Y, Sakamoto J (June 2007), "Efficacy of adjuvant immunochemotherapy with polysaccharide K for patients with curative resections of gastric cancer", Cancer Immunol. Immunother. 56 (6): 905–11, doi:10.1007/s00262-006-0248-1, PMID 17106715. 
  9. ^ "Antimetastatic effects of PSK (Krestin), a protein-bound polysaccharide obtained from basidiomycetes: an overview". Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 4 (3): 275–81. 1995. PMID 7606203. 
  10. ^ Fisher, M. Y.; Yang, L. X. (May 2002). "Anticancer effects and mechanisms of polysaccharide-K (PSK): implications of cancer immunotherapy". Anticancer research 22 (3): 1737–1754. ISSN 0250-7005. PMID 12168863. 
  11. ^ Sugimachi K, Maehara Y, Ogawa M, Kakegawa T, Tomita M (4 August 1997), "Dose intensity of uracil and tegafur in postoperative chemotherapy for patients with poorly differentiated gastric cancer", Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 40 (3): 233–8, doi:10.1007/s002800050652, PMID 9219507 
  12. ^ Hsieh TC, Wu JM (January 2001), "Cell growth and gene modulatory activities of Yunzhi (Windsor Wunxi) from mushroom Trametes versicolor in androgen-dependent and androgen-insensitive human prostate cancer cells", Int J Oncol 18 (1): 81–8, doi:10.3892/ijo.18.1.81, PMID 11115542 
  13. ^ Dong Y, Yang MM, Kwan CY (1 January 1997), "In vitro inhibition of proliferation of HL-60 cells by tetrandrine and coriolus versicolor peptide derived from Chinese medicinal herbs", Life Sci 60 (8): 135–40, doi:10.1016/S0024-3205(96)00695-9, PMID 9042394 
  14. ^ Yang MM, Chen Z, Kwok JS (1 January 1992), "The anti-tumor effect of a small polypeptide from Coriolus versicolor (SPCV)", Am J Chin Med 20 (3-4): 221–32, doi:10.1142/S0192415X92000230, PMID 1471606 

External links[edit]