Cordyceps Sinensis

Cordyceps Sinensis
Cordyceps sinensis (now renamed as Ophiocordyceps sinensis) is another insect parasitic fungus which infects larva of the ghost moth. Known as the Chinese caterpillar fungus, or “winter worm, summer grass”, C. sinensis is one of the most famous traditional Chinese medicines, said to provide relief for a variety of ailments from tuberculosis to impotence. The entire fruit body–caterpillar complex is hand-picked from high altitude in the Tibetan area for medicinal use (Paterson, 2008). Due to the nonculturability of its sexual stage, the natural resource of this fungus is being depleted. A closely related fungus that infects lepidopteran pupae named Cordyceps militaris can complete the sexual cycle in the laboratory on insect pupae or even on artificial rice medium and shows similar medicinal effects as C. sinensis.


This work is taking place within the framework of a community based analysis project led by Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Shanghai, China.


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