Are any mushrooms known to contain hydroxylamines?

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at
Fri Aug 10 02:26:52 EST 2001

maxwatt2002 at (Max Watt) wrote in message news:<870a5d01.0108071536.4f29ed90 at>...
> dwheeler at (Daniel B. Wheeler) wrote in message news:<6dafee1b.0108032016.11e67e25 at>...
> > maxwatt2002 at (Max Watt) wrote in message news:<870a5d01.0107300838.33be32b1 at>...
> > > Several mushrooms are known to contain hydrazine as side chains
> > > glycoproteins, which makes them moderately toxic.
> > > 
> > > Are any mushrooms known similarly to contain hydroxylamines?  One
> > > might expect this to function as an anti-oxidant.
> > 
> > I checked several references that I have, and couldn't find it at all
> > Max. Mushrooms by Hard, Chang and Hayes' The Biologcy and Cultivation
> > of Edible Mushrooms, and Benjamin's Mushrooms: Poisons and Panaceas
> > had no reference to hydrolamine at all.
> > 
> > Is there a particular reason you would expect fungi to have this
> > chemical? Would it be specific to one group of fungi?
> > 
> > Daniel B. Wheeler
> >
> Different fungi sometimes produce different, but related, substances,
> with small chemical differences.  Hydroxylamine is similar in it't
> nitrogen bond to hydrazine, or similar enough that it might be
> produced by a fungus, perhaps some Gyromitra.
Benjamin says "However, the false morel conains at least 11 different
hydrazines, and many of them have been shown to be actively
carcinogenic and highly mutagenic in the standard assays. (91-97)
These compounds routinely produce tumors in experimental animals, both
in the fresh state and as purified agents. In addition, the tumors are
produced regardless of the route of administration."
> Certain  hydroxylamines
> have recently been shown to be the active form of PBN (butyl phenyl
> nitrone) which has been shown to extend live span in rodents; some
> mushroms (Ling Chi, maitake) are thought by orientals to extend
> life-span.
I believe I read similar information in one of Christopher Hobb's
books. But it could also have been Chilton and Stamets' "The Mushroom
Cultivator" or Stamets' later "Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms".

Standard Chinese basis for determining medicinal activity, according
to Christopher Hobbs when he spoke to the Oregon Mycological Society
several years ago, was how quickly the fungus degrades. The longer the
fungus lasts, the more beneficial it was expected to be. Thus maitake
would not be considered as beneficial as Ling Chi, since it degrades
more rapidly.

Similarly, Ganoderma tsugae, G. applanatum, G. curtsii would be
expected to be beneficial as well. I am not sure this would stand up
to western medicinal standards. And certainly maitake (Grifola
frondosa) has many beneficial effects not currently known in most of
the Ganoderma family.
>  Circumstantial?  The though crossed my mind perhaps these,
> or other mushrooms, contain some form of hydroxylamine.  I also seem
> to recall seeing an abstract, to the effect that a variety of pleurote
> had hydroxylamine side-chains on a glycoprotein, but I cannot find the
> abstract again.  So I am asking here.
I believe Nancy Smith Weber told me that many if not most fungi
contain traces of hydrazine. Even Agaricus bisporus contains small
amounts. Hydrazine may therefore be more widespread than popularly

Daniel B. Wheeler

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