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Concept: Fomes fomentarius


Polypores have been applied in traditional Chinese medicine up to the present day, and are becoming more and more popular worldwide. They show a wide range of bioactivities including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and immuno-enhancing effects. Their secondary metabolites have been the focus of many studies, but the importance of fungal strain for bioactivity and metabolite production has not been investigated so far for these Basidiomycetes. Therefore, we screened several strains from three medicinal polypore species from traditional European medicine: Fomes fomentarius, Fomitopsis pinicola and Piptoporus betulinus. A total of 22 strains were compared concerning their growth rates, optimum growth temperatures, as well as antimicrobial and antifungal properties of ethanolic fruit body extracts. The morphological identification of strains was confirmed based on rDNA ITS phylogenetic analyses. Our results showed that species delimitation is critical due to the presence of several distinct lineages, e.g. within the Fomes fomentarius species complex. Fungal strains within one lineage showed distinct differences in optimum growth temperatures, in secondary metabolite production, and accordingly, in their bioactivities. In general, F. pinicola and P. betulinus extracts exerted distinct antibiotic activities against Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus at minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) ranging from 31-125 μg mL(-1); The antifungal activities of all three polypores against Aspergillus flavus, A. fumigatus, Absidia orchidis and Candida krusei were often strain-specific, ranging from 125-1000 μg mL(-1). Our results highlight that a reliable species identification, followed by an extensive screening for a ‘best strain’ is an essential prerequisite for the proper identification of bioactive material.

Concepts: Metabolism, Fungus, Aspergillus flavus, Ascomycota, Fomitopsidaceae, Fomes fomentarius, Lingzhi mushroom, Agaricomycetes


In particular five polypore species, i.e. Laetiporus sulphureus, Fomes fomentarius, Fomitopsis pinicola, Piptoporus betulinus, and Laricifomes officinalis have been widely used in central European folk medicines for the treatment of various diseases, e.g. dysmenorrhea, hemorrhoids, bladder disorders, pyretic diseases, treatment of coughs, cancer, and rheumatism. Prehistoric artefacts going back to over 5,000 years underline the long tradition of using polypores for various applications ranging from food or tinder material to medicinal-spiritual uses as witnessed by two polypore species found among items of Ötzi, the Iceman.

Concepts: Medicine, Fungus, Fomitopsidaceae, Fomes fomentarius, Ötzi the Iceman, Polypore, Laetiporus, Amadou


Production of the lignocellulose-degrading enzymes endo-1,4-β-glucanase, 1,4-β-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase, endo-1,4-β-xylanase, 1,4-β-xylosidase, Mn peroxidase, and laccase was characterized in a common wood-rotting fungus Fomes fomentarius, a species able to efficiently decompose dead wood, and compared to the production in eight other fungal species. The main aim of this study was to characterize the 1,4-β-glucosidase produced by F. fomentarius that was produced in high quantities in liquid stationary culture (25.9 U ml(-1)), at least threefold compared to other saprotrophic basidiomycetes, such as Rhodocollybia butyracea, Hypholoma fasciculare, Irpex lacteus, Fomitopsis pinicola, Pleurotus ostreatus, Piptoporus betulinus, and Gymnopus sp. (between 0.7 and 7.9 U ml(-1)). The 1,4-β-glucosidase enzyme was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity by both anion-exchange and size-exclusion chromatography. A single 1,4-β-glucosidase was found to have an apparent molecular mass of 58 kDa and a pI of 6.7. The enzyme exhibited high thermotolerance with an optimum temperature of 60 °C. Maximal activity was found in the pH range of 4.5-5.0, and K (M) and V (max) values were 62 μM and 15.8 μmol min(-1) l(-1), respectively, when p-nitrophenylglucoside was used as a substrate. The enzyme was competitively inhibited by glucose with a K (i) of 3.37 mM. The enzyme also acted on p-nitrophenylxyloside, p-nitrophenylcellobioside, p-nitrophenylgalactoside, and p-nitrophenylmannoside with optimal pH values of 6.0, 3.5, 5.0, and 4.0-6.0, respectively. The combination of relatively low molecular mass and low K (M) value make the 1,4-β-glucosidase a promising enzyme for biotechnological applications.

Concepts: Bacteria, Enzyme, Fungus, PH, PH indicator, Fomitopsidaceae, Fomes fomentarius, Fungi of Europe


Eight fungal species known to produce wood pigmentation were tested for reaction to various moisture contents in two hardwood species. Fungal pigmentation by Trametes versicolor and Xylaria polymorpha was stimulated at low water concentrations in both Acer saccharum (sugar maple) and Fagus grandifolia (American beech), while Inonotus hispidus and Polyporus squamosus were stimulated above 22-28% and 34-38% moisture content in beech and in sugar maple respectively. Fomes fomentarius and Polyporus brumalis produced maximum pigmentation in beech at 26 - 41% and in sugar maple at 59 - 96% moisture content. The pink staining Scytalidium cuboideum pigmented both wood species at above 35% moisture content. This research indicates that controlling the moisture content values of wood substrates can stimulate the intensity of pigmentation of specific fungi when spalting wood for decorative and commercial purpose.

Concepts: Fungus, Pigment, Wood, Trametes versicolor, Fomes fomentarius, Beech, Fagus grandifolia, Acer saccharum


The key to obtaining an optimum performance of an enzyme is often a question of devising a suitable enzyme and optimisation of conditions for its immobilization. In this study, laccases from the native isolates of white rot fungi Fomes fomentarius and/or Trametes versicolor, obtained from Czech forests, were used. From these, cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEA) were prepared and characterised when the experimental conditions were optimized. Based on the optimization steps, saturated ammonium sulphate solution (75 wt.%) was used as the precipitating agent, and different concentrations of glutaraldehyde as a cross-linking agent were investigated. CLEA aggregates formed under the optimal conditions showed higher catalytic efficiency and stabilities (thermal, pH, and storage, against denaturation) as well as high reusability compared to free laccase for both fungal strains. The best concentration of glutaraldehyde seemed to be 50 mM and higher efficiency of cross-linking was observed at a low temperature 4 °C. An insignificant increase in optimum pH for CLEA laccases with respect to free laccases for both fungi was observed. The results show that the optimum temperature for both free laccase and CLEA laccase was 35 °C for T. versicolor and 30 °C for F. fomentarius. The CLEAs retained 80% of their initial activity for Trametes and 74% for Fomes after 70 days of cultivation. Prepared cross-linked enzyme aggregates were also investigated for their decolourisation activity on malachite green, bromothymol blue, and methyl red dyes. Immobilised CLEA laccase from Trametes versicolor showed 95% decolourisation potential and CLEA from Fomes fomentarius demonstrated 90% decolourisation efficiency within 10 h for all dyes used. These results suggest that these CLEAs have promising potential in dye decolourisation.

Concepts: Enzyme, Fungus, Operations research, Optimization, Immobilized enzyme, PH indicator, Trametes versicolor, Fomes fomentarius


An investigation was carried out on the effect of inoculation methods on the compost of an organic fraction of municipal solid waste. Three types of white-rot fungi (Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Trametes versicolor and Fomes fomentarius), and a consortium of these fungi, were used. The study assessed their influence on microbial enzymatic activities and the quality of the finished compost. It was found that the addition of white-rot fungi to municipal solid waste (after 37days of composting) could be a useful strategy for enhancing the properties of the final compost product. In comparison with the control sample (compost without inoculation), it accelerates degradation of solid waste as indicated by changes in C/N, electrical conductivity and pH. However, the effectiveness of waste degradation and compost maturation depends on the type of microorganism used for inoculation. The presence of inoculants, such as Trametes versicolor and Fomes fomentarius, led to a higher degrading ratio and a better degree of maturity. This resulted in an increase of enzymatic activities (especially dehydrogenase and protease) and a germination index in comparison with inoculation using Phanerochaete chrysosporium or a consortium of fungi.

Concepts: Bacteria, Enzyme, Eukaryote, Fungus, Waste management, Biodegradable waste, Trametes versicolor, Fomes fomentarius


Ligninolytic enzymes, such as laccase, lignin peroxidase and manganese peroxidase, are biotechnologically-important enzymes. The ability of five white-rot fungal strains Daedaleopsis confragosa, Fomes fomentarius, Trametes gibbosa, Trametes suaveolens and Trametes versicolor to produce these enzymes has been studied. Three different copper(II) complexes have been prepared ((Him)[Cu(im)₄(H₂O)₂](btc)·3H₂O, where im = imidazole, H₃btc = 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxylic acid, [Cu₃(pmdien)₃(btc)](ClO₄)₃·6H₂O) and [Cu₃(mdpta)₃(btc)](ClO₄)₃·4H₂O, where pmdien = N,N,N',N'‘,N’‘-pentamethyl-diethylenetriamine and mdpta = N,N-bis-(3-aminopropyl)methyl- amine), and their potential application for laccase and peroxidases induction have been tested. The enzyme-inducing activities of the complexes were compared with that of copper sulfate, and it has been found that all of the complexes are suitable for the induction of laccase and peroxidase activities in white-rot fungi; however, the newly-synthesized complex M1 showed the greatest potential for the induction. With respect to the different copper inducers, this parameter seems to be important for enzyme activity, which depends also on the fungal strains.

Concepts: Enzyme, Fungus, Sulfuric acid, Trametes versicolor, Fomes fomentarius, Fungi of Europe, Ligninase, Polyporaceae


In vitro evaluation of total phenolic contents and antiradical activities of the lignicolous fungi Fomes fomentarius and Schizophyllum commune hydrodistilled extracts was the subject of this study. This preliminary screening included four free radical species evaluated by UV-vis (DPPH(•), ABTS(•) and (•)NO) and EPR (Asc(•)), respectively. According to the experimental data obtained, both F. fomentarius and S. commune hydrodistilled extracts may be considered as promising sources of phenolic natural products (157 and 138 mg GAE/g d.e., respectively) and other bioactives showing good anti-DPPH (1.31 μg/mL) and anti-Asc (70.40%) radical activities, respectively, at in vitro conditions.

Concepts: Agaricales, Fomes fomentarius


In recent years, tannase has gained increasing interest mainly because of its potential applications. One of the most important functions of tannic acid hydrolase is the release of gallic acid from complex tannins. The aim of the study was to determine the dynamic changes in tannase activity depending on the carbon source in the culture medium. An extracellular and intracellular tannase activity analysis was carried out with the use of spectrophotometric analysis and confirmed by capillary electrophoresis (CE) in cultures of white rot fungi: Phellinus pini, Fomes fomentarius, and Tyromyces pubescens. The inducible potential of tannic acid and rapeseed meal on the activity of tannin acyl hydrolase was confirmed during 14 days of culturing. Different effects of the tested compounds on stimulation of tannase activity in selected fungal strains have been demonstrated. We concluded that rapeseed meal was the best inducer of tannase activity in the case of Phellinus pini. However, the highest concentrations of gallic acid were observed after stimulation by the tannic acid in the cultures of Fomes fomentarius and Tyromyces pubescens. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Fungus, Tannin, Gallic acid, Fomes fomentarius, Tannic acid, Tannins, Astringent flavors


The impact of changes within a single land-use category or land-use intensity on microbial communities is poorly understood, especially with respect to fungi. Here we assessed how forest management regimes and a change in forest type affect the richness and community structure of wood-inhabiting fungi across Germany. We used molecular methods based on the length polymorphism of the internal transcribed spacers and the 5.8S rRNA gene to assess fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs). A cloning/sequencing approach was used to identify taxonomic affinities of the fungal OTUs. Overall, 20-24% and 25-27% of native fungal OTUs from forest reserves and semi-natural forests became undetectable or were lost in managed and converted forests, respectively. Fungal richness was significantly reduced during a regeneration phase in age-class beech forests with a high level of wood extraction (P = 0.017), whereas fungal community structures were not significantly affected. Conversion of forests from native, deciduous to coniferous species caused significant changes in the fungal community structure (R = 0.64-0.66, P = 0.0001) and could reduce fungal richness (P < 0.05) which may depend on which coniferous species was introduced. Our results showed that Ascocoryne cylichnium, Armillaria sp., Exophiala moniliae, Hyphodontia subalutacea and Fomes fomentarius, all known for wood-decaying abilities were strongly reduced in their abundances when forests were converted from beech to coniferous. We conclude that changes within a single land-use category can be regarded as a major threat to fungal diversity in temperate forest ecosystems.

Concepts: Eukaryote, Ribosomal RNA, Plant, Fungus, Taxonomy, Ecosystem, Taxonomic rank, Fomes fomentarius