Cyathus striatus

Cyathus striatus growing in wood chips, Saskatoon, Canada, Sept 2007.


Kingdom Fungi
Phylum Basidiomycota
Class Basidiomycetes
Order Agaricales
Family Nidulariaceae
Genus Cyathus


Nidularia striata (Huds.) With.
Peziza striata Huds.

Common names

Fluted bird’s nest
Splash cups


Fruiting body: 5-15 mm tall, 4-8 mm wide at the top; cone-shaped to cup-shaped. The outer surface is coarsely hairy. Has reddish-brown to chocolate brown to gray-brown fruiting bodies with distinct lines or grooves on the inner surface. Contains several thin, gray to grayish-brown oval ‘eggs’ (peridioles), 0.5-2 mm wide. The peridioles are attached to the cup by a cord, called a funiculus. It is easy to miss these oddball fungi because of their small size, and because their color tends to blend into the surroundings.
Habitat: grows on decaying wood, small twigs and other vegetable debris.

Medicinal Properties

Antibiotic activity

The mycelia and cultural filtrates of C. striatus were tested for antibiotic activity against Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Salmonella typhimurium and Candida albicans. C. striatus was shown to have antibacterial activity against B. cereus and B. subtilis (Colletto and Giardino, 1996).

Antibiotics named striatins A, B, and C have been isolated from the mycelium of Cyathus striatus. The striatins are active against a variety of Gram-positive bacteria, some Gram-negative bacteria, and highly active against fungi imperfecti (Anke and Oberwinkler, 1977). The chemical structures of these antibiotics have been elaborated using X-ray crystallography (Hecht et al., 1978). A later study investigated the optimization of striatin production using fermentation technology (Gehrig et al., 1998). Striatins A and B were tested in culture media against various forms of Leishmania species and Trypanosoma cruzi. These protozoa cause diseases that are responsible for considerable mortality and morbidity, especially in tropical areas. Striatins A and B showed in vitro activity at 10 and 5 µg/ml, respectively. BALB/c mice infected with Leishmania amazonensis were treated 3 weeks post-infection with striatins A or B (daily dose of 10 mg/kg, subcutaneously, for 15 days). Treatment with the reference drug, N-methylglucamine antimonite (an anti-leishmanial drug with known properties), reduced the parasite burden by 71.2%. Treatment with striatin A slightly decreased the parasite burden in the footpad by 17.6%; treatment with striatin B had no effect and was more toxic than striatin A (Inchausti et al., 1997).

Anti-cancer effects

NF-kB (nuclear factor kappa B) is a protein complex that is involved in regulating the immune response to infection. Alterations in the body’s response to NF-kB has been implicated in the pathology of various diseases, including cancer. For instance, it is known that in several human cancers, the NF-kB gene regulation pathway is always turned on, disrupting normal gene expression patterns and enabling some cells to survive in conditions where others would die. Fungal extracts prepared from Cyathus striatus showed significant inhibitory effects on the NF-kB activation pathway, suggesting activities worthy of investigation as cancer therapeutics (Petrova et al. 2006).

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Anke T, Oberwinkler F.
The striatins–new antibiotics from the basidiomycete Cyathus striatus (Huds. ex Pers.) Willd.
J Antibiot (Tokyo). 1977 30(3):221-5.

Ayer WA, Flanagan RJ, Reffstrup T.
Metabolites of Bird’s Nest Fungi .19.
New triterpenoid carboxylic-acids from Cyathus striatus and Cyathus pygmaeus.
Tetrahedron. 1984 40(11):2069-82.

Ayer WA, Reffstrup T.
Metabolites of Bird’s Nest Fungi .18.
New oxygenated cadinane derivatives from Cyathus striatus.
Tetrahedron. 1982 38(10):1409-12.

Coletto MAB, Giardino L.
Antibiotic activity in Basidiomycetes. X. Antibiotic activity of mycelia and cultural filtrates of 25 new strains.
Allionia (Turin). 1996 34(0):39-43.

Gehrig I, Bart HJ, Anke T, Germerdonk R.
Influence of morphology and rheology on the production characteristics of the basidiomycete Cyathus striatus.
Biotechnol Bioeng. 1998 59(5):525-33.

Hecht HJ, Hofle G, Steglich W, Anke T, Oberwinkler F.
Striatin-A, striatin-B, and striatin-C – novel diterpenoid antibiotics from Cyathus striatus – X-Ray crystal-structure of striatin-A.
J Chem Soc-Chem Comm. 1978 (15):665-6.

Inchausti A, Yaluff G, Rojas de Arias A,Torres S, Ferreira ME, Nakayama H, Schinini A, Lorenzen K, Anke T, Fournet A.
Leishmanicidal and trypanocidal activity of extracts and secondary metabolites from basidiomycetes.
Phytother Res. 1997 11(3):193-197.

Petrova RD, Mahajna J, Reznick AZ, Wasser SP, Denchev CM, Nevo E.
Fungal substances as modulators of NF-κB activation pathway.
Mol Biol Rep. 2006.

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