Tolypocladium ophioglossoides

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Tolypocladium ophioglossoides
Scientific classification OOjs UI icon edit-ltr.svg
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Sordariomycetes
Order: Hypocreales
Family: Ophiocordycipitaceae
Genus: Tolypocladium
T. ophioglossoides
Binomial name
Tolypocladium ophioglossoides
(Ehrh.) Quandt, Kepler & Spatafora (2014) [1]
Synonyms [1] [2] [3] [4]
  • Clavaria parasitica Willd. (1787)
  • Sphaeria ophioglossoides J.F.Gmel. (1792)
  • Cordylia ophioglossoides J.F.Gmel. (1818)
  • Cordyceps ophioglossoides(Ehrh.) Link (1833)
  • Xylaria ophioglossoides Grognot (1863)
  • Torrubia ophioglossoides(Ehrh.) Tul. & C.Tul. (1865)
  • Cordyceps parasitica(Willd.) Henn. (1904)
  • Cordyceps ophioglossoides f. cuboidesKobayasi (1960)
  • Cordyceps ophioglossoides f. albaKobayasi & Shimizu ex Y.J.Yao (1995)
  • Elaphocordyceps ophioglossoides(Ehrh.) G.H.Sung, J.M.Sung & Spatafora (2007)
  • Elaphocordyceps ophioglossoides f. cuboides(Kobayasi) G.H. Sung, J.M.Sung & Spatafora (2007)

Tolypocladium ophioglossoides, also known by two of its better known synonyms Elaphocordyceps ophioglossoides and Cordyceps ophioglossoides and commonly known as the goldenthread cordyceps, [5] is a species of fungus in the family Ophiocordycipitaceae. It is parasitic on fruit bodies of the truffle-like Elaphomyces . The specific epithet ophioglossoides, derived from Ancient Greek, means "like a snake's tongue". [6] The species is thought to be inedible [7] by people in the Western hemisphere, however, Traditional Chinese medicine of the Eastern Hemisphere recognizes T. ophioglossoides as a valuable medicinal fungi.



This species was first described in 1785 as Sphaeria ophioglossoides by German naturalist Jakob Friedrich Ehrhart. [8]


T. ophioglossoides fruits in late summer and fall, often under oak or pine trees because Elaphomyces, its host, prefers those tree species. [9] It falls under the morphological category of earth tongue fungi. Its geographical distribution is throughout the Northern Hemisphere, however it is locally uncommon. [9] Its sporocarps are 2–8 cm long, clavate and simple or rarely branched. Rhizomorphs attach the fruiting body to its host. [9]

Medicinal usage

T. ophioglossoides is used as an herbal remedy in Traditional Chinese medicine for relieving postmenopausal syndrome in women. [10] [11] [12] T. ophioglossoides is classified as a Traditional Chinese medicine of hot temperature, sharing phylogenetic branch, genetic material and habitat with other species classified as hot temperature Traditional Chinese medicines. [13] The mycelium of T. ophioglossoides may protect humans from Alzheimer's disease. [14] Production of intracellular polysaccharides in T. ophioglossoides may explain its medicinal antioxidant properties, used to fight menopause symptoms and neurodegenerative disease. [15]

Model organism

T. ophioglossoides has also been used as a model organism to understand genetic mechanisms that drive transitions from parasitism on insects to truffles. In lab, secondary metabolite core genes are upregulated when T. ophioglossoides is grown on insect cuticle, but downregulated when T. ophioglossoides is grown on species in the genus Elaphomyces. [10]

Bioactive compounds

Because of its beneficial medicinal properties, scientists have begun to conduct research on the genes of T. ophioglossoides to understand secondary metabolite synthesis. T. ophioglossoides produces most notably peptaibiotics and balanol.

T. ophioglossoides produces peptaibiotics via nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs). Peptaibiotics have antibiotic and antifungal properties. [16]

T. ophioglossoides also produces balanol, a protein kinase inhibitor which inhibits cancer cells from growing in humans [17] and affects other human disease states, including central nervous system diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, asthma and HIV. T. ophioglossoides has been cultured with genetic modification to produce balanol at higher concentrations. [11]

A novel nontoxic form of arsenic called Arsenocholine-O-sulfate has been found within the body of  T. ophioglossoides in significant amounts. The functionality of Arsenocholine-O-Sulfate in T. ophioglossoides is unknown. It is unclear whether T. ophioglossoides takes up Arsenocholine-O-Sulfate as a byproduct of uptaking choline-O-sulfate, a compound used as for sulfate storage and as an osmolyte, whether it takes up AC-O-Sulfate for a biological function, or whether it synthesizes Arsenocholine-O-Sulfate internally (Braeuer et al 2016.). [18]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mycology</span> Branch of biology concerned with the study of fungi

Mycology is the branch of biology concerned with the study of fungi, including their taxonomy, genetics, biochemical properties, and use by humans. Fungi can be a source of tinder, food, traditional medicine, as well as entheogens, poison, and infection.

<i>Ophiocordyceps sinensis</i> Species of fungus

Ophiocordyceps sinensis, known colloquially as caterpillar fungus, is an entomopathogenic fungus in the family Ophiocordycipitaceae. It is mainly found in the meadows above 3,500 metres (11,500 ft) on the Tibetan Plateau in Tibet and the Himalayan regions of Bhutan and Nepal. It parasitizes larvae of ghost moths and produces a fruiting body which is valued in traditional Chinese medicine as an aphrodisiac. Caterpillar fungus contains the compound cordycepin, an adenosine derivative. However, the fruiting bodies harvested in nature usually contain high amounts of arsenic and other heavy metals, so they are potentially toxic and sales have been strictly regulated by China's State Administration for Market Regulation since 2016.

<i>Cordyceps</i> Genus of fungi

Cordyceps is a genus of ascomycete fungi that includes about 600 worldwide species. Diverse variants of cordyceps have had more than 1,500 years of use in Chinese medicine. Most Cordyceps species are endoparasitoids, parasitic mainly on insects and other arthropods ; a few are parasitic on other fungi.

Tolypocladium inflatum is an ascomycete fungus originally isolated from a Norwegian soil sample that, under certain conditions, produces the immunosuppressant drug ciclosporin. In its sexual stage (teleomorph) it is a parasite on scarab beetles. It forms a small, compound ascocarp that arises from the cadaver of its host beetle. In its asexual stage (anamorph) it is a white mold that grows on soil. It is much more commonly found in its asexual stage and this is the stage that was originally given the name Tolypocladium inflatum.

<i>Phallus</i> (fungus) Genus of fungi

The genus Phallus, commonly known as stinkhorns, is a group of basidiomycetes which produce a phallic, often foul-scented mushroom, from which their name is derived. The genus has a widespread distribution and, according to a 2008 estimate, contains 18 species. They belong to the family Phallaceae in the order Phallales. The best known species is the common stinkhorn.

<i>Beauveria</i> Genus of fungi

Beauveria is a genus of asexually-reproducing fungi allied with the ascomycete family Cordycipitaceae. Its several species are typically insect pathogens. The sexual states (teleomorphs) of Beauveria species, where known, are species of Cordyceps.

<i>Ophiocordyceps unilateralis</i> Species of fungus

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, commonly known as zombie-ant fungus, is an insect-pathogenic fungus, discovered by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in 1859, and currently found predominantly in tropical forest ecosystems. O. unilateralis infects ants of the tribe Camponotini, with the full pathogenesis being characterized by alteration of the behavioral patterns of the infected ant. Infected hosts leave their canopy nests and foraging trails for the forest floor, an area with a temperature and humidity suitable for fungal growth; they then use their mandibles to attach themselves to a major vein on the underside of a leaf, where the host remains after its eventual death. The process, leading up to mortality, takes 4–10 days, and includes a reproductive stage where fruiting bodies grow from the ant's head, rupturing to release the fungus's spores. O. unilateralis is, in turn, also susceptible to fungal infection itself, an occurrence that can limit its impact on ant populations, which has otherwise been known to devastate ant colonies.

<i>Metarhizium</i> Genus of fungi

Metarhizium is a genus of entomopathogenic fungi in the Clavicipitaceae family. With the advent of genetic profiling, placing these fungi in proper taxa has now become possible. Most turn out to be the asexual forms (anamorphs) of fungi in the phylum Ascomycota, including Metacordyceps spp.

<i>Metacordyceps</i> Genus of fungi

Metacordyceps is a genus of fungi in the family Clavicipitaceae. The anamorphs of Metacordyceps appear to include Metarhizium species.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ophiocordycipitaceae</span> Family of fungi

Ophiocordycipitaceae is a family of parasitic fungi in the Ascomycota, class Sordariomycetes. It was updated in 2020.

Podonectria is a genus in the monotypic Podonectriaceae family of fungi. They are parasitic fungus on scale insects, other fungi, or on substrates that had previously colonized by other fungi.

<i>Tolypocladium</i> Genus of fungi

Tolypocladium is a genus of fungi within the family Ophiocordycipitaceae. It includes species that are parasites of other fungi, insect pathogens, rotifer pathogens and soil inhabiting species with uncertain ecological roles. Tolypocladium was originally circumscribed as a genus containing anamorphic fungi. It was later determined that some Cordyceps-like teleomorphic fungi were the teleomorphs of Tolypocladium species. These species were considered to belong in the genus Cordyceps until molecular phylogenetics studies found these species to be more closely related to Ophiocordyceps and were considered to belong in that genus before they were transferred to the new genus Elaphocordyceps by Sung and colleagues in 2007. However, under the ICN's 2011 "one fungus, one name" principle, fungi can not have different names for their anamorphic and teleomorphic stages if they are found to be the same taxon. Quandt and colleagues formally synonymized Tolypocladium and Elaphocordyceps in 2014. Quandt and colleagues also synonymized the anamorphic genus Chaunopycnis with Tolypocladium. The immunosuppressant drug ciclosporin was originally isolated from Tolypocladium inflatum, and has since been found in other species of Tolypocladium, some of which were formerly placed in Chaunopycnis.

Ophiocordyceps myrmecophila is a species of fungus that parasitizes insect hosts, in particular members of the order Hymenoptera.

<i>Cordyceps militaris</i> Species of fungus

Cordyceps militaris is a species of fungus in the family Cordycipitaceae, and the type species of the genus Cordyceps. It was originally described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 as Clavaria militaris. There are hundreds of species of cordyceps fungi. Special characteristics of Cordyceps Militaris are its use in traditional Chinese medicine, modern pharmaceuticals, and its relationship with insects and how it disperses.

Medicinal fungi are fungi that contain metabolites or can be induced to produce metabolites through biotechnology to develop prescription drugs. Compounds successfully developed into drugs or under research include antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs, cholesterol and ergosterol synthesis inhibitors, psychotropic drugs, immunosuppressants and fungicides.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cordycipitaceae</span> Family of fungi

The Cordycipitaceae are a family of parasitic fungi in the Ascomycota, class Sordariomycetes and order Hypocreales. The family was first published in 1969 by mycologist Hanns Kreisel, but the naming was invalid according to the code of International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants. It was validly published in 2007.

<i>Ophiocordyceps formicarum</i> Species of fungus

Ophiocordyceps formicarum is an entomopathogenic fungus belonging to the order Hypocreales (Ascomycota) in the family Ophiocordycipitaceae. The fungus was first described by mycologist George S. Kobayashi in 1939 as a species of Cordyceps. Originally found in Japan growing on an adult Hercules ant, it was reported from Guizhou, China, in 2003. It was transferred to the new genus Ophiocordyceps in 2007 when the family Cordycipitaceae was reorganized. A technique has been developed to grow the fungus in an agar growth medium supplemented with yeast extract, inosine, and glucose.

<i>Cordyceps locustiphila</i> Species of fungus

Cordyceps locustiphila is the basionym and teleomorph of the fungi Beauveria locustiphila, a species of fungus in the family Cordycipitaceae. and is a species within the genus Cordyceps. It was originally described in by Henn in 1904. C. locustiphila is an entomopathogen and obligate parasite of the grasshopper species within the genus Colpolopha or Tropidacris, and as such is endemic to South America. The scientific name is derived from its close relationship with its host, being named after locusts. The fungi was renamed to Beauveria locustiphila in 2017 following research into the family Cordycipitaceae. Following the loss of the species type specimen, new studies were conducted that now recommend that the fungi be divided into 3 species. C. locustiphila, C. diapheromeriphila, and C. acridophila.

<i>Cordyceps gunnii</i> Species of fungus

Cordyceps gunni is a species of fungus in the family Cordycipitaceae, and is of the genus Cordyceps. It was originally found and recorded by Gunn in Tasmania and named as Sphaeria gunnii and later moved into the Cordyceps genus and renamed Cordyceps gunnii. This fungus and its sisters in the genus Cordyceps are known for growing out of insect bodies. C. gunnii can be found at ground level poking out of caterpillar burrows, attached to a caterpillar's head.

<i>Isaria cicadae</i> Species of fungi

Isaria cicadae is an ascomycete fungus that parasitizes cicada larvae. It forms white and yellow asexual fruiting structures resembling synnema. While mostly being found throughout Asia in warm, humid regions, it has been found on various other continents. It is known in Traditional Chinese Medicine as Chan Hua and commonly called “cicada flower.” Its medicinal uses date back to the fifth century AD in China. It can also be used in various foods and tonics.


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