Library Subscription: Guest
Begell Digital Portal Begell Digital Library eBooks Journals References & Proceedings Research Collections
International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
IF: 1.423 5-Year IF: 1.525 SJR: 0.431 SNIP: 0.661 CiteScore™: 1.38

ISSN Print: 1521-9437
ISSN Online: 1940-4344

International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2018029378
pages 1121-1133

Current and Future Research Trends in Agricultural and Biomedical Applications of Medicinal Mushrooms and Mushroom Products (Review)

Shu Ting Chang
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Ainslie, Australia
Solomon P. Wasser
International Center for Cryptogamic Plants and Fungi, Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa Israel

ABSTRACT

Here, we analyze the status and future trends in the study of medicinal mushrooms (MMs) in agriculture and biomedicine. Fruiting bodies of mushrooms are heterotrophic organisms that obtain all their nutritive requirements from the substrate. Mushroom substrates are agro-industrial plant residues and forest byproducts, which are usually called lignocellulosic materials. A good substrate for mushroom growth must be suitable both chemically and physically, as well as have the proper conditions for microbial activities. Under suitable conditions, mushrooms can excrete key enzymes for unlocking indigestible lignocellulosic biomasses to help provide sources of nourishment. The production of enzymes by mushroom mycelia plays a crucial part in the colonization process and is an important determinant of mushroom yields. The sense of purpose and vision for mushroom industries is also briefly discussed. Special attention is given to the use of mushroom extracts with antiphytopathologenic and insecticidal properties in modern agriculture. In the second part of this article, we summarize biomedical applications of medicinal mushrooms, which are currently used as 1) dietary food, 2) dietary supplement products, 3) a new class of drugs called "mushroom pharmaceuticals or mushroom drugs", 4) natural biocontrol agents in plant protection demonstrating insecticidal, fungicidal, bactericidal, herbicidal, nematocidal, and antiphytoviral activities, and 5) cosmeceuticals. We also aimed to draw attention to many critically important unsolved problems in the future development of medicinal mushroom science in the 21st century, including problems of production, standardization, and safety of mushroom dietary supplement products, as well as to discuss the problems of developing new medicinal mushroom drugs based not only on beta-glucans polysaccharides but also on low-molecular-weight secondary metabolites.