Recent Advancement and the Way Forward for Cordyceps

  • Rahul Chaubey
  • Jitendra Singh
  • Mohammed Muzeruddin Baig
  • Amit Kumar
Part of the Fungal Biology book series (FUNGBIO)


Cordyceps are entomopathogenic fungi, which include about 400 species, have cosmopolitan distribution, and are dominant and abundantly found in humid temperate and tropical forests. Cordyceps attacks mainly the insect larvae, with few reports on pupa and adults; the fungus invades and gradually replaces the host tissue by its mycelium. Cordyceps host range is very wide but predominant on two orders Coleoptera and Lepidoptera. Cordyceps species have diverse pharmaceutical properties and are commonly used to promote longevity and relieve fatigue along with immunomodulating, anti-oxidant, anti-tumor, anti-cancer, anti-metastatic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, antibiotic, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, hypoglycemic, and hypocholesterolemic effects in humans. Cordyceps might also improve immunity by stimulating cells and specific chemicals in the immune system. The important active ingredients deciphered are polysaccharides, sterols, cordycepin, cordycepic acid, nucleosides, etc. More than 20 pharmacologically bioactive compounds have been isolated and extracted in various solvents and used for various treatments. The natural availability is very limited but the artificial culture is relatively high. However, the availability of the seeding material and their development protocol is restricted to few labs/companies. All the identified species are not fully exploited for the commercial cultivation due to lack of easy availability of seeding material and sophisticated environment requirement. The more vigorous screening of all the available germplasm is still the need of hour for more promising and new pharmacological active ingredients. In India, the sericulture waste can be used as an important potential culture material for developing the Cordyceps-related industry and support the silk farmers for additional income and social upliftment of the tribal community in future.


Cordyceps Cordyceps sinensis Host affinity Medicinal properties Artificial culturing Commercial cultivation Bioprospecting 



The authors are very thankful to the Kala Azar Medical Research Center, Rambag Road, Muzaffarpur, Bihar; Central Tasar Research and Training Institute, Nagri, Ranchi, Jharkhand and Central Muga Eri Research and Training Institute, Lahdoigarh, Jorhat, Assam for providing necessary support for this publication.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rahul Chaubey
    • 1
  • Jitendra Singh
    • 2
  • Mohammed Muzeruddin Baig
    • 2
  • Amit Kumar
    • 3
  1. 1.Kala Azar Medical Research Center, Rambag RoadMuzaffarpurIndia
  2. 2.Central Tasar Research and Training InstituteNagri, RanchiIndia
  3. 3.Central Muga Eri Research and Training Institute, Central Silk Board, LahdoigarhJorhatIndia

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