Ganoderma P. Karst

The genus Ganoderma P. Karst was established by Karsten (1881) with Ganoderma lucidum (Curtis) P. Karst. as the only species (Moncalvo and Ryvarden 1997). Ganoderma species are distributed all over the world, in tropical and temperate regions, although usually found in subtropical and tropical regions, since it can withstand hot and humid conditions (Pilotti 2004). Ganoderma species are not classified as edible mushrooms, as the fruiting bodies are always thick, corky and tough and do not have the fleshy texture characteristic of true edible mushrooms (Singh et al. 2013). Ganoderma has long been regarded as one of the most important medicinal fungi worldwide (Paterson 2006), and laccate species of Ganoderma, have been used as medicinal fungi in traditional Chinese medicine for over two millennia (Anon 1955). China is very rich in Ganoderma species, with at least 80 species names (Zhao and Zhang 2000; Wang et al.2009a; Cao et al. 2012; Cao and Yuan 2013), although part of them are synonyms. Ganoderma (Ganodermataceae, Polyporales) is characterized by its double-walled basidiospores with interwall pillars, bears an apical umbo, often shrunk, and the apex appears then truncate (Li et al. 2013c). The taxonomy of the genus is, however, poorly circumscribed, not universally accepted, and has been described as being in a state of chaos (Ryvarden 1991).