Comparison of the metabolic profile of the mycelia and fruiting bodies of artificially cultured Cordyceps militaris

  • Ha, Si Young (Department of Environmental Materials Science, Institute of Agriculture and Life Science, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Jung, Ji Young (Department of Environmental Materials Science, Institute of Agriculture and Life Science, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Park, Han Min (Department of Environmental Materials Science, Institute of Agriculture and Life Science, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Yang, Jae-Kyung (Department of Environmental Materials Science, Institute of Agriculture and Life Science, Gyeongsang National University)
  • Received : 2021.01.14
  • Accepted : 2022.03.18
  • Published : 2022.03.31


Cordyceps militaris, a well-known traditional Chinese medicine, has multiple health-promoting effects. It is used as a herbal remedy and health food in Asian countries. Cultured mycelia are often used as a substitute for natural C. militaris. In the present study, the mycelia and fruiting bodies of artificially cultured C. militaris were analyzed using a metabolomics approach. The protein and crude fat contents of the mycelia were substantially higher than those of the fruiting bodies. The top three abundant amino acids in the mycelia were proline (3.9 g/100 g), aspartic acid (2.9 g/100 g), and glutamic acid (2.7 g/100 g). The carbohydrate content was similar in the fruiting bodies and mycelia. Analysis revealed that both the fruiting bodies and mycelia are rich in phenolic compounds and exhibit antioxidant activity. Further, six metabolites were significantly different between the mycelia and fruiting bodies. The levels of Ca, glucose, Mg, and Se were higher in the mycelia than in the fruiting bodies. In contrast, mannitol and Zn were more abundant in the fruiting bodies. The current study provides a comprehensive metabolic profile of the mycelia and fruiting bodies of artificially cultured C. militaris. Such an exercise is potentially important for understanding the metabolism of C. militaris and facilitating the use of cultured mycelia as a supplement to C. militaris fruiting bodies in traditional Chinese medicine.



This study was carried out with the support of 'R&D Program for Forest Science Technology (Project No. "2020186D10-2222-AA0261382116530003")' provided by Korea Forest Service (Korea Forestry Promotion Institute).


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