The application of fatty acid (FA) composition data has now extended to studies of physiology, chemotaxonomy, and intrageneric differentiation, as well as to studies of human nutrition. Environmental factors such as nutritional components, oxygen, and temperature are known to affect lipid content and composition in living organisms, including fungi. In the present study, the polar and non-polar lipid content of Pleurotus ostreatus and P. cornucopiae var. citrino-pileatus fruiting bodies produced at temperatures ranging from 12-27 °C and from 17-27 °C, respectively, were analysed to evaluate the effect of temperature on lipid composition in these mushrooms. Results showed that lowering the growth temperature below 17 °C generally provided an expected increase in FA unsaturation in polar and non-polar lipids of P. ostreatus. Although raising the temperature above 17 °C did not show any clear-cut tendency in FA unsaturation, it did reveal that growth temperature had a differential effect on the FA profiles in fruiting bodies of P. ostreatus and P. cornucopiae. This study suggests that care should be taken when using FA content and unsaturation data for physiological, chemotaxonomic, and intrageneric differentiation studies, and that it may be possible to manipulate lipid unsaturation in Pleurotus spp. through modified growth temperatures.

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Mycological Research
Department of Chemistry

Pedneault, K. (Karine), Angers, P. (Paul), Avis, T, Gosselin, A. (André), & Tweddell, R.J. (Russell J.). (2007). Fatty acid profiles of polar and non-polar lipids of Pleurotus ostreatus and P. cornucopiae var. 'citrino-pileatus' grown at different temperatures. Mycological Research, 111(10), 1228–1234. doi:10.1016/j.mycres.2007.06.014