Biotechnological applications and potential of wood-degrading mushrooms of the genus Pleurotus
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- Cohen, R., Persky, L. & Hadar, Y. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2002) 58: 582. doi:10.1007/s00253-002-0930-y
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The genus Pleurotus comprises a group of edible ligninolytic mushrooms with medicinal properties and important biotechnological and environmental applications. The cultivation of Pleurotus spp is an economically important food industry worldwide which has expanded in the past few years. P. ostreatus is the third most important cultivated mushroom for food purposes. Nutritionally, it has unique flavor and aromatic properties; and it is considered to be rich in protein, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Pleurotus spp are promising as medicinal mushrooms, exhibiting hematological, antiviral, antitumor, antibiotic, antibacterial, hypocholesterolic and immunomodulation activities. The bioactive molecules isolated from the different fungi are polysaccharides. One of the most important aspects of Pleurotus spp is related to the use of their ligninolytic system for a variety of applications, such as the bioconversion of agricultural wastes into valuable products for animal feed and other food products and the use of their ligninolytic enzymes for the biodegradation of organopollutants, xenobiotics and industrial contaminants. In this Mini-Review, we describe the properties of Pleurotus spp in relation to their biotechnological applications and potential.