A Comparative Examination Of Some Biological Characteristics Of Ling-zhi (G. lucidum) To Other species In The G. Lucidum Complex


F.Abdullah and Asalina Atan, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science and Environmental Studies Universiti Pertanian Malaysia, Serdang.


Trends in Traditional Medicine Research, Proceedings of the International Conference on the Use of Traditional Medicine & Other Natural Products in Health Care




Ling-zhi, Ganoderma lucidum, morphological studies.


Ling-zhi is a bracket fungus which has long been accepted by Orientals as having medicinal properties. The fungus has been taxonomically identified as Ganoderma lucidum. G. lucidum occurs in the wild in temperate regions where they are the causal agents of white root rots of trees. Species belonging to the 'G lucidum-complex' are found in Malaysia, but the local species cause red root rots instead. This study compares the basic biological characteristics of medicinal specimens of Ling-zhi. to G. lucidum from Europe, and to local Ganoderma specimens from infected oil palms. Results showed that Ling-zhi exhibited characteristics unique to themselves. They exhibited a large optimal temperature growth range of 25oC to 35°C, compared to 25°C to 28°C for the European species, and 28oC to 30oC for the local specimens. The medicinal isolates showed a mycelial pattern of growth different from the others. All three sampling groups could be successfully induced to form sporophores when cultured on palm-press fibre substrates and left to grow at local ambient temperatures. Sporophores of Ling-zhi were morphologically different from the European G. lucidum. Ling-zhi's unique characteristics was probably because of its pure line breeding over time, compared to its European counterpart which were obtain from the wild. The differences with the local Ganoderma was expected. However the different biological characteristics does not rule out the possible existence of some common bioactive compounds in the three sampling groups and a chemical analysis would be most suited to complement this finding.