Identification of two fungal pathogens causing white villous disease on medicinal mushrooms in China

The mushroom, Auricularia auricula-judae is considered as an edible mushroom and it ranks fourth in production in the world. This mushroom is also considered as a medicinal mushroom because it is effective against diabetes and certain cancers. In addition to that, this mushroom has antioxidant, anticholesterol, anticoagulant and immunoregulatory properties too. However, A. auricula-judae production is affected by number of diseases and white villous disease is one of them. The pathogen of white villous disease infects mushrooms from contaminated raw materials for mushroom cultivation such as potting mix, polypropylene bags and the infection occurs on the ventral side of mushroom by forming white villi (Figure 1). But few studies reported on white villous disease. Therefore, the research group from Institute of Microbiology, Heilongjiang of Science in China worked on this disease to identify new fungal species associated with white villous disease in Auricularia auricula-judae.

They have collected 30 samples of A. auricula-judae which were already infected with white villous disease and isolation of fungal isolates were done by single spore method. Pure fungal cultures were identified by morphologically and molecularly based on mycelial growth rate, colony formation, conidial morphology, conidiogenous cells, chlamydospores and ITS sequence comparisons. They could isolate two new fungal pathogens, Fusarium equiseti and Fusarium sporotrichioides associate with white villous disease on A. auricula-judae and this is the first study of identifying F. equiseti and F. sporotrichioides as pathogens of white villous disease on A. auricula-judae.


Figure 1: Appearance of A. auricula-judae before and after infection. Healthy (A, C) and dried (E) fruiting bodies. Symptoms of white villous disease on fresh (B, D) and dried (F) fruiting bodies.


  • Zhang, J. C., Kong, X. H., Zhang, P. Q., Liu, J. N., Ma, Y. P., Dai, X. D., … & Yu, L. P. (2017). Identification of a New Fungal Pathogen Causing White Villous Disease on the Fruiting Body of the Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom Auricularia auricula-judae (Agaricomycetes) in China. International journal of medicinal mushrooms19(2).

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