The structure and characteristics of Ganoderma lucidum

The living body of Ganoderma lucidum consists of two parts:

Mycelium and fruiting body. The mycelium grows in the culture medium and is like a wire mesh; the fruit body grows outside the substrate and is an individual with a seed layer (a place where spores are produced).

1 The external shape of Ganoderma lucidum

The external shape and internal structure of the organism are the products of long-term adaptation to the surrounding environment and completion of certain physiological functions. Ganoderma, like all fungi, has no chlorophyll and cannot produce carbohydrates through photosynthesis. Therefore, it must live saprophytic or parasitic life. It uses carbon and nitrogen in existing organic compounds as nutrients. This type of nutrition (heterotrophic) determines Its morphological structure is significantly different from that of autotrophic higher green plants.
 The normal form of Ganoderma lucidum mainly consists of two parts. 

  • The white mycelium growing in the culture medium at the bottom is called mycelium. It has a strong absorption capacity and can secrete a variety of enzymes to decompose various organic matter to obtain the nutrients necessary for growth and development;
  • The upper mushroom, which forms basidiospores in the later stages of development, plays a role in reproduction. The mesh mycelium is not easily detectable in the growth substrate. When picking Ganoderma lucidum, it is disconnected from the fruit body and remains in the substrate. Therefore, the commonly called Ganoderma lucidum refers to the fruit body.

2. Ganoderma lucidum mycelium morphological characteristics and basic structure.

 Ganoderma lucidum mycelium is a mesh-like nutrient body interwoven by countless hyphae, which is filled in the growth substrate and absorbs nutrients from the substrate for the growth and application of the fruit body. The thickness of the silk is 5.5-7 micro-water. It is observed under a microscope that the Ganoderma lucidum hyphae is composed of countless cells. There is a barrel-shaped small hole in the middle of the cell's diaphragm, and the small hole is the nutrient channel between the cells. The outermost layer of the cell is the cell wall. Each cell has two nuclei. The nucleus is extremely small, and it is difficult to observe clearly with a microscope. There are also various organelles and vacuoles such as mitochondria.
 The appearance of Ganoderma lucidum mycelium is white and fluffy. A single hyphae can be seen under the microscope. The hyphae are linear, extremely long, crisscross and intertwined with each other, densely running through the nutrient matrix. This structure allows the mycelium to maintain a large contact surface with the nutrient base to ensure the absorption of nutrients.
When Ganoderma lucidum hyphae grows on agar flat medium at the beginning, the hyphae are white and dense, with a small amount of aerial hyphae. Different species of Ganoderma lucidum mycelium secrete different resins and pigments, so the surface mycelium will show dark brown or brownish red spots.

3. Morphological characteristics and basic structure of the fruit body of Ganoderma lucidum.

The mature fruit body is an umbrella-shaped mushroom, which is purple-red and sometimes brown-red. Its texture is tough and fleshy when it is young, and corky when it matures and is very light. In terms of structure, the fruit body is divided into two parts: the stalk and the cap. The cap of Ganoderma lucidum develops on the top side of the stalk, and the stalk is located on the side of the cap. This is a very unique shape. According to the "Compendium of Materia Medica", the character "Zhi" is based on the shape of Ganoderma lucidum, because the cap is located on the side of the stalk and the stalk is often bent. 

The fruit body is stalked or sessile, and the cap is kidney-shaped, round, semi-circular, varying in size, 3-30 cm, woody or leathery, with a husk on the surface. There are ring ribs and radial wrinkles. Most of them are shiny, with several colors including yellow, purple, red, black, and off-white. The fruit body is 1 to 3 cm thick. The stalk is 3-20 cm long and 1-3 cm thick, with a shiny surface, the same texture as the cap, and medium solid.

The stalk of Ganoderma lucidum has an irregular cylindrical shape, sometimes slightly flat and somewhat curved. The whole stipe is purple-red, but the lighter side is darker, and the closer to the nutrient base, the shallower. The thickness and length of the stalk varies with environmental conditions. Under well-ventilated conditions, the stalk develops very short, and under the conditions of insufficient oxygen and high carbon dioxide concentration, the stalk develops slender. 

The cap of Ganoderma lucidum develops towards the side with strong light. The mature cap is kidney-shaped to almost round, with purple or brown upper part, ring and radial wrinkles, the width of the ring is variable, and it grows. Speed ​​varies. Radial wrinkles are not obvious during the development of Ganoderma lucidum, and only gradually become obvious when the fruit body loses water and becomes dry. The bottom surface of the cap is milky white, and it slowly turns yellow after long storage. It is often light brown in nature. Observing the surface of the fungus cover with a dissecting microscope, it can be found that the surface is full of small holes, the holes are almost round, with different sizes, the closer to the edge of the fungus, the greater the density.