University of Caxias do Sul, Institute of Biotechnology, Brazil
Received date: September 11, 2013; Accepted date: September 13, 2013; Published date: September 16, 2013
Citation: Camassola M (2013) Mushrooms–The Incredible Factory for Enzymes and Metabolites Productions. Ferment Technol 2:e117. doi:10.4172/2167-7972.1000e117
Copyright: © 2013 Camassola M. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Mushrooms are fungi belonging to the higher phyla Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. In fact the name mushroom refers to a fruiting body, formed by several hyphae that grow upwards and produces spores (basidiospores). These spores are invisible to the naked eye and spread with the wind, with water or even attached to the body of animals. The fruiting fungus is the structure of sexual reproduction and has different shapes and colors.
Mushrooms are unable to synthesize organic matter and are devoid of chlorophyll, which prevent them from performing photosynthesis. So are called heterotrophic beings, i.e., having no ability to produce their own food. Like all fungi, mushrooms feed by absorption. Has a number of filaments of cells, called hyphae, which may be branched and have varying lengths. The assembly of hyphal is the mycelia, which plays important roles as support and absorption of nutrients.
The fungi reproduce through spores. A spore is basically a cell surrounded by a protective coating (cell wall), from which one can develop a new organism. After the merger of compatible hyphae, the mycelium produced can develop lightly. Factors such as temperature and humidity provide adequate conditions for mycelia give rise to mushrooms, which produce spores.
Fungi depend on other living beings for food. When it feeds on dead organic matter are called decomposing fungi (saprophytes). The parasitic fungi feed on living things such as insects, plants and even other mushrooms.
It is already established in the literature that some species of macro fungi, particularly mushrooms, represent a potential source of biologically active compounds as immunomodulators, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, hepatic protection, reduce glucose and lipidic levels and have antitumor activities [1,2]. There are also reports that many species have high nutritional value with high protein and fiber . In the cosmetics industry, various substances extracted from macromicetos have been used, such as ceramides, lentinan, schizophyllan, and L-ergotionin fatty acids omega 3, 6 and 9, carotenoids, resveratrol, azelaic acid among others . In addition, some mushroom species are producers of enzymes. Among these enzymes are hydrolases , esterases  and phenol oxidases [7,8] among others. It is also important to note that the mushroom laccases have been studied because they have the potential to inhibit HIV reverse transcriptase  and antitumor effect . Okamoto et al.  observed that the mushroom Neolentinuslepideus is capable of fermenting xylose to ethanol.
These data indicate the importance of development of bioprocesses using mushrooms as bio-factories for the production of enzymes and metabolites of high value to humans and the environment.