The white domecap, Lyophyllum connatum (Schumach.) Singer.
Agaricus connatus Schumach.
Enum. pl. (Kjbenhavn) 2: 299 (1803)
Clitocybe connata (Schumach.) Gillet
Hyménomycètes (Alençon): 164 (1874)
Tricholoma connatum (Schumach.) Ricken
Die Blätterpilze: 360 (1915)
Fried chicken mushroom
Witte bundelridderzwam (Dutch)
Lyophylle en touffe (French)
Weißer Rasling (German)
Лиофиллум сросшийся (Russian)
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Cap: 3-9 cm diameter, initially capitate–globose, later convex to applanate with an involute margin; margin mostly repand to irregularly undulate and partly also crenate; white, when moist also with a lead-grey tinge; surface floccose and in places with a varnish-like sheen, in part also with grey-white spots where the pruina is absent; when dry dull, when soaked transparent; sometimes slightly umbonate.
Stem: 4-10 x 0.8-2 x 0.5-1 cm, laterally flattened, grooved on the flattened sides; swollen towards base, curved, white, upper region is pruinose, towards the base indistinctly pruinose like the surface of the cap; sometimes several stems are joined together at the base, making them densely fasciculate; flesh white, thin in the cap (2-3 mm) and with a central hollow in the stem.
Gills: adnate to decurrent, with intercalated lamellulae, fairly crowded, 7-8 mm broad; white with a tinge of grey.
Spore print: white.
Spores: ellipsoid, hyaline, smooth, with droplets, 6-7 x 3-4 µm.
Edibility: listed by many guidebooks as edible. However, some of the bioactive nitrogen compounds mentioned below have suspect toxicology, because the parent compound N-hydroxyurea is a mutagen and DNA synthesis inhibitor (Fugmann and Steglich 1984).
Habitat: densely fasciculate to gregarious, grows on ground, often along roads and paths on freshly turned soil; autumn, common.
Chemical tests: stains violet after exposure to iron salts (FeCl3 or FeSO4).
Description adapted and modified from Bresinsky et al., 1990, p.187-8.
A variety of bioactive components have been reported from the methanolic extract of fresh fruit bodies of L. connatum, including N-hydroxy-N‘,N‘-dimethylurea (yield 0.01-0.02%, fresh weight), the N-hydroxyamino acid chromogen connatin (Nδ-hydroxy-Nω,Nω-dimethylcitrullin, yield 0.20-0.25%), and the alkylazoxycarboxamide lyophillin (N,N-dimethylazoxycarboxamide, yield 0.04%) (Fugmann and Steglich, 1984). Lyophyllin was previously shown to be formed by oxidative condensation of N-hydroxy-N‘N‘-dimethyurea with N-methylhydroxylamine by an unspecific condensing enzyme (Ye et al., 1997).
Eight ergostane-type sterols have been isolated from the fruit bodies of L. connatum (Hazuki et al., 2002), as well as the novel ceramide (2S, 3S,4R)-2- [(9’Z, 12’Z)-9′, 12′-octadecadienoylamino]- 1, 3, 4-octadecanetriol (Yaoita et al., 2003).
Antioxidant activity/Free-radical scavenging activity
The methanol extract of L. connatum was reported to have antioxidant and free-radical scavenging abilities (Keller et al., 2002). Later research identified some of the specific compounds responsible: ergothionene (ERT), N-hydroxy-N‘,N‘-dimethylurea, connatin (N-hydroxy-N‘,N‘-dimethylcitrullin), and the novel ergothioneine derivative, β-hydroxyergothioneine (HERT) (Kimura et al., 2005). Notably, ERT and HERT had radical-scavenging activity almost equivalent to trolox, the water-soluble vitamin E analogue used as a positive control in the DPPH radical-scavenging assay.
Both ergothioneine and β-hydroxyergothioneine showed protective ability against carbon tetrachloride-induced injury in rat primary liver cell cultures (Kimura et al., 2005).
Methanol extracts of L. connatum inhibited the inflammatory activity induced by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate in the mouse ear oedema assay (Yasakuwa et al., 1996).
More pictures and description at Fungi of Poland, and Italian Wikipedia
Bresinsky A, Besl H, Bisset NG. (1990)
A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Fungi: A Handbook for Pharmacists, Doctors, and Biologists.
CRC Press, 295 pp.
Google Books preview
Fugmann B, Steglich W.
Unusual components of the toadstool Lyophyllum connatum (Agaricales).
Angewandte Chemie. 1984 23(1):72-3.
Hazuki K, Saori O, Yasunori Y, Masao K.
Constituents of mushrooms. XVIII. Chemical constituents from the fruiting bodies of Pholiota terrestris Overholts and Lyophyllum connatum (Schum.:Fr.) Sing.
J Tohoku Pharm Univ. 2002 49:85-89.
Kimura C, Nukina M, Igarashi K, Sugawara Y.
β-Hydroxyergothioneine, a new ergothioneine derivative from the mushroom Lyophyllum connatum, and its protective activity against carbon tetrachloride-induced injury in primary culture hepatocytes.
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2005 69(2):357-63.
Keller C, Maillard M, Keller J, Hostettmann K.
Screening of European fungi for antibacterial, antifungal, larvicidal, molluscicidal, antioxidant and free-radical scavenging activities and subsequent isolation of bioactive compounds.
Pharma Biol. 2002 40(7):518-25.
Yaoita Y, Hosokawa M, Okabe S, Kikuchi M.
A new ceramide from two edible mushrooms, Grifola frondosa and Lyophyllum connatum.
Nat Med. 2003 57(5):189-91.
Yaoita Y, Kohata R, Kakuda R, Machida K, Kikuchi M.
Ceramide constituents from five mushrooms.
Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2002 50(5):681-4.
Ye Y, Aulinger K, Arnold N, Spahl W, Steglich W.
Biosynthesis of the azoxycarboxamide lyophyllin and formation of some of its unnatural analogues in fruit-bodies of Lyophyllum connatum.
Tetra Lett 1997 38(46):8013-6.
Yasukawa K, Kanno H, Kaminaga T, Takido M, Kasahara Y, Kumaki K.
Inhibitory effect of methanol extracts from edible mushroom on TPA-induced ear oedema and tumour promotion in mouse skin.
Phytother Res. 1996 10(4):367-9.