Metabolomic comparison between wild Ophiocordyceps sinensis and artificial cultured Cordyceps militaris

Biomed Chromatogr. 2018 May 11:e4279. doi: 10.1002/bmc.4279. Online ahead of print.


A systematic study on the metabolome differences between wild Ophiocordyceps sinensis and artificial cultured Cordyceps militaris was conducted using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Principal component analysis and orthogonal projection on latent structure-discriminant analysis results showed that C. militaris grown on solid rice medium (R-CM) and C. militaris grown on tussah pupa (T-CM) evidently separated and individually separated from wild O. sinensis, indicating metabolome difference among wild O. sinensis, R-CM and T-CM. The metabolome differences between R-CM and T-CM indicated that C. militaris could accommodate to culture medium by differential metabolic regulation. Hierarchical clustering analysis was further performed to cluster the differential metabolites and samples based on their metabolic similarity. The higher content of amino acids (pyroglutamic acid, glutamic acid, histidine, phenylalanine and arginine), unsaturated fatty acid (linolenic acid and linoleic acid), peptides, mannitol, adenosine and succinoadenosine in O. sinensis make it as an excellent choice as a traditional Chinese medicine for invigoration or nutritional supplementation. Similar compositions with O. sinensis and easy cultivation make artificially cultured C. militaris a possible alternative to O. sinensis.

Keywords: Cordyceps militaris; Ophiocordyceps sinensis; mass spectrometry; metabolomics.