Mycobiology.  2018 Dec;46(4):382-387. 10.1080/12298093.2018.1544769.

Scratching Stimuli of Mycelia Influence Fruiting Body Production and ROS-Scavenging Gene Expression of Cordyceps militaris

  • 1Guangdong Key Laboratory of Animal Conservation and Resource Utilization, Guangdong Public Laboratory of Wild Animal Conservation and Utilization, Guangdong Institute of Applied Biological Resources, Guangzhou, China.


The entomopathogenic fungus Cordyceps militaris is a valuable medicinal ascomycete, which degenerates frequently during subsequent culture. To avoid economic losses during industrialized production, scratching stimuli of mycelia was introduced to improve the fruiting body production. The present results indicated that higher yields and biological efficiency were obtained from two degenerate strains (YN1-14 and YN2-7) but not from g38 (an insertional mutant in Rhf1 gene with higher yields and shorter growth periods). Furthermore, the growth periods of the fruiting bodies were at least 5"‰days earlier when the mycelia were scratched before stromata differentiation. Three ROS-scavenging genes including Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (CmSod1), Glutathione peroxidase (CmGpx), and Catalase A (CmCat A) were isolated and their expression profiles against scratching were determined in degenerate strain YN1-14 and mutant strain g38. At day 5 after scratching, the expression level of CmGpx significantly decreased for strain g38, but that of CmSod1 significantly increased for YN1-14. These results indicated that scratching is an effective way to promote fruiting body production of degenerate strain, which may be related at least with Rhf1 and active oxygen scavenging genes.


Cordyceps militaris; degenerated strain; scratching; antioxidant enzyme; gene expression

MeSH Terms

Gene Expression*
Glutathione Peroxidase
Reactive Oxygen Species
Superoxide Dismutase
Glutathione Peroxidase
Reactive Oxygen Species
Superoxide Dismutase
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