Recently, there has been increase of general interest in fungi because of the possible medical applications of their polysaccharide constituents called glucans, some of which are reported to have immunomodulatory properties. Since an extraction method can change the chemical composition of a substance, especially a delicate one such as fungal thallus, it is necessary and useful to know more about the studied matter in advance in order to choose the chemical procedure properly. We demonstrated the usefulness of vibrational spectroscopy in identifying different glucan types in various parts of intact fruiting bodies of Asco- and Basidiomycetes. Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy was used for obtaining vibrational spectra of spores and fruiting bodies of more than 70 species belonging to 37 different genera of wild growing mushrooms. The list of the bands in 750-950 cm-1 interval, assigned to α- and β-glucans, is provided for all species studied. Vibrational spectra in the interval 1000-1200 cm-1 could serve as an indicator of mushroom genus, although particular species cannot be identified spectroscopically. Great similarities in spectra of spores of the same genus, but different species, e.g. Tricholoma album and Trichloma sulphureum, were observed. On the other hand, spectra of cap, stalk and spores of the same mushroom show great differences, indicating variety in the chemical composition of different parts of the same fruiting body.

Glucan, Immunomodulatory activity, Infrared spectroscopy, Mushrooms,
Spectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Department of Surgery

Mohaček-Grošev, V, Božac, R, & Puppels, G.J. (2001). Vibrational spectroscopic characterization of wild growing mushrooms and toadstools. Spectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, 57(14), 2815–2829. doi:10.1016/S1386-1425(01)00584-4