Fungi belonging to the Cordyceps species have long been used as food and herbal medicines in Asia and are especially popular as commercially available powdered supplements. Despite this acceptance and use, little is known of the phylogenetic relationships of the genus. Presently, the neighbor-joining method based on the ITS1, 5.8S rRNA, and ITS2 regions was used to construct a phylogenetic tree of 17 Cordyceps isolates. Five major groups were evident. Cordyceps sinensis was less closely related to 15 Cordyceps species but shared a closer relationship with Cordyceps agriota. PCR-single-stranded conformational polymorphism was applied to differentiate seven Cordyceps isolates: five were different from those used to construct the phylogenetic tree, based on differences in the internal spacer 2 (ITS2). The length of ITS2, amplified by primers 5.8SR and ITS4, vary between 334 and 400 bp. This segment could be used for intraspecies classification or detection of mutations and represents potential novel means of identification of this fungal genus in herbal medicines and in quality control applications in the fermentation industry.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)