Navigation Links
Japanese gourmet mushroom found in Sweden

In Japan, the hon-shimeji mushroom is a delicacy costing up to SEK 8,000 a kilo (800 Euro). Now a student at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has discovered that this tasty fungus also grows wild in Sweden.

"There will undoubtedly be a lot of interest in Sweden, and definitely in Japan once these discoveries become known there," says Henrik Sundberg, who conducted the study.

Lyophyllum is a family of many different species of fungi. One of them is Lyophyllum shimeji, previously believed to grow only in the Far East. In Japan, the hon-shimeji or "true shimeji" is a delicacy, and so rare that a kilo of Japanese mushrooms of perfect quality can fetch as much as SEK 8,000 (800 Euro). Then, two years ago, came indications that the species also grows in Sweden.

"We were visited by a Japanese mycologist who found a fungus on a pine heath outside Skellefte which she thought was similar to hon-shimeji," says Henrik Sundberg, a student at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the University of Gothenburg. "Using molecular techniques, we've now been able to show that this northern Swedish fungus is identical to the Japanese one."

Not the first fungal discovery

This is not the first time that a Japanese gourmet mushroom has been found in northern Scandinavia. Just over a decade ago, researchers were able to show that the Swedish mushroom Tricholoma nauseosum was identical to the Japanese species Tricholoma matsutake. Interest in the Swedish matsutake has been huge, and Japanese mycologists and traders have made their way to the country's northern forests to study the fungus.

Molecular examination gave the answer

It was also the Swedish matsutake that led Japanese mycologist Etsuko Harada to the forest outside Skellefte where she found the Swedish hon-shimeji in August 2008.

"After getting a positive response from Japanese mycologists, we became more and more convinced that we were on the trail of a Japanese delicacy," says Sundberg. "When we found more the following year, we started up a project to examine the fungus using molecular techniques. We were soon able to show that the Swedish and Japanese fungi are, without a doubt, identical."

Thrive on pine heaths

So far the Japanese fungus has been found on sparse pine heaths and flat-rock forests from Ume to Gllivare in northern Sweden, as well as in Dalarna in the middle of the country. The reason why it did not previously attract attention is partly that it was lumped together with related species, and partly that nobody made the link with hon-shimeji. Finds in Norway and Finland suggest that the fungus is probably found throughout the taiga belt of boreal forest from Scandinavia to China and Japan, and maybe even in other areas with a temperate climate and pine forests, such as Scotland, Canada, the USA and Central Europe.

Season in August

The Swedish hon-shimeji probably forms fruiting bodies from August through to the first frosts. It is similar in appearance to its closest relatives, Lyophyllum fumosum and Lyophyllum decastes, but does not grow in such big clusters and often has a thicker stem which swells towards the base and sparser gills.

Its discovery in Sweden is reported in Sundberg's thesis on systematics and biodiversity at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the University of Gothenburg, and will be featured in a future issue of Swedish journal Svensk Mykologisk Tidskrift.


Shimeji is an umbrella name for more than 20 different fungi and translates roughly as "mushrooms that grow in deep forest during the rainy season". These include species from several different genera, including Tricholoma, Lyophyllum, Hypsizygus and Clitocybe.

Next to the matsutake, the hon-shimeji is the most sought-after and expensive culinary mushroom in the Japanese market. Both of these gourmet mushrooms have been in rapid decline since the mid-20th century, probably due to pests attacking host trees and changes in forestry. Its scarcity means that wild hon-shimeji is currently sold only by a few specialist dealers and served at exclusive restaurants.

The Lyophyllum family has not been widely studied in northern Europe and is notorious for its lush flora of synonyms and poorly defined species. It is therefore unknown how many Lyophyllum species there are worldwide. The mushrooms examined in the study were collected by Henrik Sundberg and Niclas Bergius along with Swedish amateur mycologists, and have since been supplemented with herbarium material.


Contact: Henrik Sundberg
University of Gothenburg

Related biology news :

1. Japanese beetle may help fight hemlock-killing insect
2. Honor for UK-Japanese research
3. Japanese and German researchers meet to discuss climate change
4. Springer and Japanese Society of Biorheology to work together
5. Geraniums could help control devastating Japanese beetle
6. Childrens gardens mushrooming
7. Genetic technology reveals how poisonous mushrooms cook up toxins
8. Button mushrooms contain as much anti-oxidants as expensive ones
9. Childrens gardens mushrooming
10. Dried mushrooms slow climate warming in Northern forests
11. New species of phallus-shaped mushroom named after California Academy of Sciences scientist
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/22/2016)... ANGELES , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... identity management and verification solutions, has partnered ... edge software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service ... provides products that add functional enhancements ... partnership provides corporations and venues with an ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... New York , June 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... a new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by ... and Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the report, ... USD 11.60 billion in 2015 and is estimated ... reach USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016 The Department of Transport ... the 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... on what they believe could be a new and helpful biomarker for malignant ... Click here to read it now. , Biomarkers are components in ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of ... from cancer patients.  The funding will be used ... with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a ... be employed to support the design of a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use the ... models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. ... the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent flow ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , ... compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced ... granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food ... gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin ... to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: