Volume 17 Part 1 Article 17: Variation in Agaritine Levels among Individuals in Natural Populations of Agaricus bisporus

Volume 17 Part 1 Article 17
Year 2008
Title: Variation in Agaritine Levels among Individuals in Natural Populations of Agaricus bisporus
Authors: R.E. Sabourin, B.L. Brant, M.P. Wach and R.W. Kerrigan


Agaritine is a naturally occurring phenylhydrazine derivative compound of Agaricus bisporus that is also of biomedical interest. We evaluated mushrooms produced by 50 cultures of diverse geographical origin, obtained from the collections of the Agaricus Resource Program, INRA MYCSA (Bordeaux, France), R.W. Kerrigan, and Sylvan Inc. Five natural Old World populations (Denmark, Russia, France, Greece, and Israel), plus two commercial cultivars of European ancestry and four New World populations (Alberta, coastal California, desert California, and New Mexico), were compared. Fresh mushrooms were quick-frozen at –40°C, lyophilised and extracted with methanol followed by solid-phase extraction. Agaritine (mg/g) was quantified by HPLC using a C18 column and UV detection at 237 nm. Replicates were run on different days for many samples, with good reproducibility. We observed a 25-fold difference between the lowest and highest agaritine values recorded. Agaritine levels above 1% of dry weight were recorded in one strain. Within each population, considerable variation was observed. Each of the New World population samples had lower mean agaritine levels than any of the Old World population samples, suggesting an ancient global evolutionary divergence for this trait. This east–west difference is statistically significant. Cultivars had intermediate agaritine levels corresponding to the lower-middle range recorded from European strains. Wild germplasm thus may represent a useful resource available for developing low-agaritine strains of Agaricus bisporus.

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