Ecology, Phylogeny, and Potential Nutritional and Medicinal Value of a Rare White “Maitake” Collected in a Mediterranean Forest
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Via Amendola 165/A, I-70126 Bari, Italy
Laboratory of General and Agricultural Microbiology, Agricultural University of Athens, 11855 Athens, Greece
Mushroom Biology and Fungal Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Natural Resource & Environmental Design, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Bldg. 5, I-90128 Palermo, Italy
Department of Health Promotion, Mother and Child Care, Internal Medicine and Medical Specialities, University of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2020, 12(6), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12060230
Received: 4 May 2020 / Revised: 3 June 2020 / Accepted: 4 June 2020 / Published: 8 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Diversity in the Mediterranean Area)
Albino Grifola frondosa (Dicks.) Gray “maitake” mushrooms (described as G. albicans Imazeki and then placed in synonymy with G. frondosa) are particularly rare, and the few pertinent records are not treated in scientific publications. A field investigation carried out in Sicily (Italy) led to the collection of an unusual white Grifola specimen at the base of a living tree of Quercus pubescens Willd. s.l. The outcome of sequencing the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) indicated that it belongs to G. frondosa and provided an insight to the phylogenetic relationships within the genus. The results of nutritional composition analysis showed that the albino basidioma possesses relatively high contents of Ca, Fe, K, and Cu and is rather low in Na when compared with literature data on edible mushrooms. Vitamin (B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, and D2) contents ranged from 0.15 to 3.89 mg per 100 g of mushroom dry weight. The cold-water extract of this specimen was effective at inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC 12228 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 15442 at the maximum screening concentration of 50% v/v. In addition, the extract slowed down the ability of Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 43300 to form biofilms. According to data hereby reported, the albino G. frondosa is a culinary-medicinal mushroom with a promising exploitation potential.