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MeFSAT Database for Medicinal Fungi

MeFSAT Database for Medicinal Fungi: Relevance for UPSC Exam

General Studies III- Awareness In The Fields Of It, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology, Pharma Sector & Health Science

MeFSAT Database for Medicinal Fungi -_3.1

In News

An analytical study of medicinal fungi using MeFSAT carried out by researchers from Chennai shows that some chemicals they secrete may find use as novel drugs.

  • Chennai-based researchers analysed the structure of 1,830 secondary metabolites of medicinal fungi.
  • Secondary metabolites are chemical compounds that fungi produce when they are stressed.
  • They enhance the fungus’ ability to survive.

What is MeFSAT?

  • MeFSAT (Medicinal Fungi Secondary Metabolites and Therapeutics) is a database that compiles information on 184 medicinal fungi, including mushrooms.
  • It is a manually curated database that compiles information on secondary metabolites and reported therapeutic uses of medicinal fungi from published research articles and specialized books on the subject.

What are Medicinal Fungi?

  • Medicinal fungi belong to two taxonomic divisions namely, basidiomycota and ascomycota.
  • Mushrooms belong to the basidiomycota division. An example is Agaricus bisporus, the button mushroom, which can be consumed.
  • Fungi belonging to the ascomycota division are generally not mushrooms.

Examples of fungi-based medicines

  • Cordycepin, a secondary metabolite produced by Cordyceps species of fungus, is known to have anti-tumor properties.
  • Not only cordycepin, in general, but several secondary metabolites are also known to be beneficial for humans in terms of both therapy and health.


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