Array of Metabolites in Italian Hericium erinaceus Mycelium, Primordium, and Sporophore
Hericium erinaceus is a medicinal mushroom that contains many molecules promising a plethora of therapeutic properties. In this study, the strain H.e.2 (MicUNIPV, University of Pavia, Italy) was isolated from a sporophore collected in Tuscany (Italy). Mycelium, primordium, and wild type and cultivated sporophores were analyzed by HPLC-UV-ESI/MS. Erinacine A in the mycelium and hericenones C and D in the sporophores were quantified by comparison with their standard molecules. For the first time, H. erinaceus primordium was also investigated for the presence of these molecules. Comparing with the literature data, hericenes, molecules structurally similar to hericenones, were present in all our samples. The highest contents of hericenones C and D were detected in cultivated sporophores, compared to the wild type. The comparison of these data with those of another Italian H. erinaceus strain (H.e.1 MicUNIPV) was discussed. The results led us to select H. erinaceus strains more suitable for mycelium production or sporophore cultivation to obtain extracts with a higher content of bioactive compounds. This work provides a further step towards standardizing the procedures in the development of dietary supplements made from mushrooms.