Biological, chemical and ecological properties of Armillaria mellea (Vahl) P. Kumm

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Armillaria mellea is a commonly occurring fungi species, belonging to the Basidiomycota division. As an edible fungus, A. mellea’s fruiting bodies and rhizomorphs are rich in high amounts of polysaccharides, proteins, fats and other elements. The species has also been found to be a medicinal fungus as its curing properties have been proven by results of many pieces of research. A. mellea shows a number of interesting abilities, mainly it is capable of bioluminescence and forms mycelial cords. These are a tool for conducting nutrients but also infecting adjacent plants, which makes the species a dangerous plant pathogen. Due to the ability of degrading wood components with the use of the enzymatic ligninolytic complex, the fungus has been classified as a member of a wide fungal group called white-rot fungi. Fungi belonging to this group are capable of breaking down many hazardous environment pollutants, which raises an argument to apply them in mycoremediation.