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DBT sponsored Development of a Mushroom Germplasm Bank to Commercialize its Neutraceutical & Pharmaceutical Potential

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Rapid fire:

  • Mushrooms are rich in proteins, vitamin D, dietary fibres, have anti-oxidant, anti-cancerous & anti-microbial activities.
  • A total of 381 specimens including edible as food & medicine as well as commercially important species have been collected & characterized.
  • Twenty wild species belonging to 13 genera have been found to be edible mushrooms.
  • A digital library for 65 mushrooms of Coastal Regions of Maharashtra & Goa has been prepared.
  • A total of 39 collected wild mushroom cultures have been screened for nutraceutical values.
  • Two oyster mushroom species Pleurotus sp. (V10-T1) and Pleurotus sajor-caju (V2-T1) have been cultivated for production of spawn and fruit bodies.

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Mushrooms, rich in proteins, vitamin D, dietary fibres, have anti-oxidant, anti-cancerous and anti-microbial activities enhancing their neutraceutical and pharmaceutical importance. Realizing these importances DBT sponsored a network programme for collection, documentation and development of digital library for mushrooms in coastal belt of India from Maharashtra to Goa.

Some of the important upcoming and achievements are explained below:

Collection and Documentation of Wild Mushrooms
Twenty-five extensive explorations have been made to different forest areas, sacred groves and national parks from Coastal areas of Maharashtra and Goa for collection and documentation of wild mushrooms.

A total of 381 specimens including edible as food and medicine, industrially and commercially important species have been collected and characterized.

Twenty (20) wild species belonging to 13 genera have been found to be edible mushrooms.

Five (5) pigment producing mushrooms have also been collected.

All the species have been assigned to 65 species. Herbarium has been prepared for all the species using standard methods and spore prints have been obtained wherever possible.

A new species of Calvatia has been collected from Parsik Hills, Navi Mumbai.

Establishment of Culture Collection
Sixty-one (61) pure cultures have been obtained from wild mushrooms and being maintained by standard methods at TERI-Western Regional center, Mumbai.

Twenty four (24) mushroom cultures are unique to TERI culture collection and these cultures are not available in any other culture collection centers of India. Further, 57 cultures have been submitted to Microbial Culture Collection at Pune for getting accession numbers.

A culture collection of mushrooms “Mushroom Biodiversity-Western Regional Center-WDCM 1169” (http://www.wfcc.info/ccinfo/collection/by_country/i/) has been established at TERI-Western Region by registering with World Federation for Culture Collection.

Development of Digital Library
A digital library for 65 mushrooms of Coastal Regions of Maharashtra and Goa has been prepared.
A website on “Nutrition Security (http://www.teriin.org/projects/nutrition-security/) for wild edibles of plants and mushrooms” has been launched.
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The nutrition security webpage provides information having titles such as –

  • Introduction to mushrooms,
  • Interesting Facts about mushrooms,
  • Mushrooms and Malnutrition,
  • Cultivation of Oyster Mushrooms and
  • Digital Library.

The Digital library contains information on mushrooms collected from the Western coast of Maharashtra and Goa with special emphasis on the following.
1) Distribution, 2) Morphology, 3) Culinary value, 4) Medicinal importance, 5) Industrial importance, 6) Unique features, 7) Interesting facts, 8) Commercial products, 9) Review of patents, 10) Review of publications, 11) Links to publications, 12) Classification, 13) Related links and 14) References.
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Nutraceutical Potential of Mushroom cultures
A total of 39 collected wild mushroom cultures have been screened for nutraceutical values. It is observed that the protein content has been ranging from 15–27.8 %/100 g dry weight, carbohydrate 35.6–48.6 %/100 g dry weight, crude fat 0.032–0.15 % / g dry weight, ash 4.9–14. 3 % dry weight, moisture 82.8–95.5 %, total phenol 9–35 / g of methanol extract as mg of GAE and total flavonoids 2–7 / g of methanol extract as mg of Catechin.

Industrial applications
A total of 39 wild mushroom cultures have been screened for the production of cellulase and laccase and recognized four potential cellulase producing mushrooms viz., Calvatia sp. Collybia sp. Schizyphyllum commune and Clitocybe sp.

For the first time, the Calvatia sp. has been reported for the production of both cellulase and laccase.

Interestingly, five mushroom strains viz., Marasmiellus sp., Lenzites sp., Ganoderma lucidum, Calvatia sp. and Lentinus sajor-caju have been identified as potential laccase producers.

Identified a potential pigment producing mushroom Omphalotus sp. (V8-T27) collected from Dapoli. The pigments obtained from the mushroom have been used to dye paper used for making visiting cards, cotton threads and cloths and baby wool.

Commercialization of Wild Mushrooms
Two oyster mushroom species Pleurotus sp. (V10-T1) and Pleurotus sajor-caju (V2-T1) have been cultivated for production of spawn and fruit bodies.