The wood woollyfoot, Gymnopus peronatus (Bolton) Antonín, Halling & Noordel.
Agaricus peronatus Bolton
Hist. fung. Halifax 2: 58 (1788)
Agaricus urens Bull.
Herbier de la France 11: tab. 528, fig. 1 (1791)
Collybia peronata (Bolton) P. Kumm.
Führer Pilzk. (Zwickau): 116 (1871)
Collybia urens (Bull.) P. Kumm.
Führer Pilzk. (Zwickau): 115 (1871)
Marasmius peronatus (Bolton) Fr.
Anteckn. Sver. Ätl. Svamp.: 52 (1836)
Marasmius urens (Bull.) Fr.
Anteckn. Sver. Ätl. Svamp.: 52 (1836)
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Cap: 2.5-6 cm diameter, convex to plane, often with broad umbo and irregularly lobed margins; glabrous; sometimes grooved above gills; yellow-brown to pink-brown with paler margin; hygrophanous; context white to pale yellow.
Stem: 3-7.5 cm long and 0.3-0.8 cm thick; smooth or floccose at apex becoming fibrillose-striate below, usually expanded towards base; ochre-brown to yellowish, often more orange-brown towards the base which is covered with buff to yellowish hairs.
Gills: free, distant, sometimes forked near stem; pale or yellowish changing to brownish; edges entire or finely whitish granulose fringed.
Spores: 8.5-10 x 3-4 µm, smooth, elliptic to subcylindrical.
Taste: peppery to pungent/acrid.
Edibility: considered too acrid to eat. Furthermore, reports of the presence of the toxic compound hydrocyanic acid (Bach, 1948) indicate consumption be avoided.
Habitat: usually found in dense groups in forest litter, on conifer and hardwood debris.
Two 3-indolinone dimers have been isolated from EtOAc extracts of the fruit bodies of Collybia peronata, peronatins A and B (shown below). The diastereoisomeric compounds are formed in the fruit bodies upon injury, from enzymatic hydrolysis of an indole precursor and oxidative coupling of the derived indoxyl radicals (Pang and Sterner, 1994). Further work on the synthesis and isomerization of these indole-compounds has been reported (Stachel et al., 1997).
The sesquiterpene deoxycollybolidol (3β-(3-furyl)-3,4,4aα,8β,9,9aα- hexahydro- 5-β-methyl-5,8-methano-lH-pyrano[3,4-d]oxepin- l,6(5H)-dione, shown below) was first identified from the chloroform-methanol extract of G. peronatus (Fogedal and Norberg, 1986), and its presence later confirmed (Castronovo et al., 2001).
The sesquiterpene deoxycollybolidol, consisting of a tricyclic nucleus bearing both a γ- and a δ-lactone group, and a benzoate and a furan ring as substituents.
Reporting on the favorable influence of sodium citrate on the production of antibiotics in Marasmius spp (Öblom, 1950), it is suggested that this species has antibacterial activity: “Recent work on antibiotics has shown that Marasmius urens (Bull). Fr. is highly active against several pathogenic bacteria (Öblom and Wallmark, unpublished).” This work (i.e., the effect of organic acids on antibiotic production) was later elaborated and expanded (Öblom, 1951), and Staphylococcus aureus was used as the test bacteria.
Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of G. peronatus and administered intraperitoneally into white mice at a dosage of 300 mg/kg inhibited the growth of Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers by 60% (Ohtsuka et al., 1973).
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Ohtsuka S, Ueno S, Yoshikumi C, Hirose F, Ohmura Y, Wada T, Fujii T, Takahashi E.
Polysaccharides having an anticarcinogenic effect and a method of producing them from species of Basidiomycetes.
UK Patent 1331513, 26 September 1973.