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The legitimate scientific name of the valuable medicinal mushroom "Niu-Chang- Chih" known only from Taiwan

Author(s): S.-C. Jong

Journal: Micología Aplicada Internacional
ISSN 1534-2581

Volume: 24;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 43;
Date: 2012;
Original page

"Niu-Chang-Chih" is a valuable medicinal mushroom known only from Taiwan. It has long been used in folk medicine as an antidote for alcohol and drug intoxication, as an anticancer agent in liver cancer and in the treatment of diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypertension and skin itching. The pharmacological activities and the chemical constituents of crude extract of "Niu-Chang-Chih" are quite different from those reported for 'Linzhi" (Ganoderma lucidum ). Thus, a legitimate scientific name for the mushroom is essential for health, trade, conservation, property rights protection, and data retrieval systems. The esirability for use of a legitimate name is not only evident, but such use is becoming increasingly urgent with wider recognition of the important role the mushroom plays in bioindustry and biotechnology. There are four scientific names related to the mushroom "Niu-Chang-Chih" in the commercial and scientific literature: Ganoderma camphoratum Zang et Su, 1990; Antrodia cinnamomea Chang et Chou, 1995; Antrodia camphorata (Zang et Su) Wu et al., 1997; and Taiwanofungus camphoratus (Zang et Su) Wu et al., 2004. In order to determine the legitimate name from those cited for the mushroom, the nomenclatural standing with regard to legitimacy of each name is critically reviewed in accordance with particular rules of the international Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN, the Melbourne Code of 2011). Clearly they all are effectively and validly published names. However, the name G. camphoratum is legitimate for a "Linzhi" mushroom, but illegitimate for the "Niu-Chang-Chih" mushroom because it is based on a mixed nomenclatural type (HKAS 22294) with two taxonomically discordant elements. The echinulate Ganoderma spore element of the mixed holotype HKAS 22294 was later separated and designated as lectotype of G. camphoratum by Chang and Chou in 2004. In addition, the new combinations A. camphorata (1997) and T. camphoratus (2004) were superfluous names for A. cinnamomea (1995) when published and must be rejected because the name A. cinnamomea was readily available. Each mushroom can bear only one legitimate name and any name that is contrary to rules of the ICN must be rejected unless conserved or sanctioned by the International Botanical Congress. Consequently, A. cinnamomea is the only "legitimate" name now available for the mushroom "Niu- Chang-Chih" with the holotype TFRI 119. It is thus incorrect (wrong) to cite these illegitimate names A. camphorata and T. camphoratus as taxonomic synonyms of the legitimate name A. cinnamomea. Unfortunately, these illegitimate names A. camphorata and T. camphoratum are still frequently cited in the literature, including the patent literature, for "Niu-Chang-Chih".

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