Termitomyces eurrhizus is from family Lyophyllaceae and known to form pseudorhiza (pseudo root), which extend deep into the soil. It is a unique characteristic that carry throughout the Termitomyces genus. This fungus is also known as T. albuminosus (Mortimer et al.,, 2012).
Common names: jizong, zhen gen yichaosan (China), Jirousigu (Taiwan), Baijigu (Japan)
This fungus is edible and due to its nature to form symbiotic relationship with termite, this fungus cannot be cultivated and grow commercially as oyster mushroom or split gill mushroom. It is a local delicacy as some claim it to have similar taste as chicken when cooked. As this fungus has not been grown commercially due to its nature that reliant on termite mound to grow, it is important to focus on the preservation of its natural habitats at present for its conservation.
It usually preferred broad-leaves forests and can be found in Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, India and tropical Africa. It can also be found in tropical and subtropical areas of Yunan and Sichuan provinces, China.
Population Trend: Uncertain
The fungus grows solitary on soil that covered with leave litters and dead wood. It forms symbiosis with termite.
Over harvesting from nature and incorrect harvesting technique
There are several projects conducted in attempting to cultivate T. eurrhizus in China, in which they used wood composition for fungal fruitification and encouraging the production of termite mounds to accommodate the fungus colonies and generations, but both approaches have yet to yield commercially. (Chang and Miles 2004; Shao-Yu 2006; Yujin et al. 2010).
A correct harvesting technique are important to sustain the production of this fungus. The fungus could be removed only at the stem level, instead of uprooting the whole fungus from the soil. The awareness on the correct technique in harvesting this fungus and controlling the number and size of harvests per season could be an initial approach in ensuring the sustainability of this fungus
Surveys and inventories are needed to be conducted to determine the occurrence and distribution of this fungus.
Edible and it is known for taste and delicacy for local communities.
Chang S, Miles PG (2004) Mushrooms Cultivation, Nutritional Value, Medicinal Effect, and Environmental Impact. ISBN: 978-0-8493- 1043-0:27–37 doi: 10.1201/9780203492086.ch2
Mortimer, Peter E., Samantha C. Karunarathna, Qiaohong Li, Heng Gui, Xueqing Yang, Xuefei Yang, Jun He et al. “Prized edible Asian mushrooms: ecology, conservation and sustainability.” Fungal Diversity 56, no. 1 (2012): 31-47.
Shao-Yu J (2006) Cultivation of Termitomyces albuminosus and its taste quality and evalution of physiological activities. National Chung Hsing University, Taipei
Yujin Z, Huachun G, Rongchun L (2010) Status of termite-mushroom artificial domestication cultivation-A review. Acta Microbiol Sin 50(10):1288–1292