Hygrophorus persoonii


Agaricus limacinus Schaeff.
Hygrocybe persoonii (Arnolds) X.L. Mao
Hygrophorus dichrous sensu NCL (1960); fide Checklist of Basidiomycota of Great Britain and Ireland (2005)
Hygrophorus limacinus sensu auct.; fide Checklist of Basidiomycota of Great Britain and Ireland (2005)
Hygrophorus olivaceoalbus sensu Lange; fide Checklist of Basidiomycota of Great Britain and Ireland (2005)
Limacium olivaceoalbum sensu Lange [Fl. Dan. 5, pl. 162A]

Common name

Olijfkleurige slijmkop (Dutch)
Olivbraungestiefelter Schneckling (German)
Olajszínű csigagomba (Hungarian)
Vitbrun vaxskivling (Swedish)


Cap: 3-10 cm diameter; convex to umbonate or plane; glutinous or viscid.
8-12 cm long, 1-3 cm thick; solid; equal or clavate; with double sheath.
white; adnate to decurrent; broad; close to subdistant.
Spores: ellipsoid; smooth; 9-12 x 5-7 µm.
Spore print: white.
Chemical tests: The stem of H. persoonii  turns yellow to brown when a drop of KOH solution is applied.

Bioactive compounds

Separation of the petroleum ether extract of H. persoonii by solid phase extraction and HPLC revealed six new compounds, shown below (Lubken et al., 2004). These petroleum ether-soluble cyclopentanone derivatives, called hygrophorones, bear some structural similarity to the antibiotic pentenomycin.


4,6-di-o-acetyl hygrophorone A12     (R1=Ac, R2=H, R3=Ac, n=12)
4-o-acetyl hygrophorone A12             (R1=Ac, R2=H, R3=H, n=12)
6-o-acetyl hygrophorone A12             (R1=H, R2=H, R3=Ac, n=12)
4,6-di-o-acetyl hygrophorone A14     (R1=Ac, R2=H, R3=Ac, n=14)
4-o-acetyl hygrophorone A14             (R1=Ac, R2=H, R3=H, n=14)
6-o-acetyl hygrophorone A14             (R1=H, R2=H, R3=Ac, n=14)

The n refers to the carbon-length of the alkyl chain attached to C6.

Antifungal activity

Although all of the hygrophorones have some antifungal activity, 4-O-acetyl hygrophorone A12 was the most active against the test pathogen Cladiosporium cucumerinum (Lubken et al., 2004).

Antitumor activity

Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of H. persoonii and administered intraperitoneally into white mice at a dosage of 300 mg/kg inhibited the growth of Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers by 100% and 90%, respectively (Ohtsuka et al., 1973).

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Lubken T, Schmidt J, Porzel A,  Arnold N, Wessjohann L.
Hygrophorones A-G: fungicidal cyclopentenones from Hygrophorus species (Basidiomycetes).
Phytochemistry. 2004 65(8):1061-71.

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.

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