The National Research Council of the Philippines, an advisory body of the Department of Science and Technology, announced the discovery of
an antibiotic-producing microorganism from mushroom which has been found to be effective in treating diseases of livestock, particularly swine.
Dr. Asuncion Raymundo, an NRCP plant pathologist, led a research team that analyzed the DNA thread or theImage genetic code of the mushroom species Clitopilus passeckerianus. Dr. Raymundo and her group employed classical and recombinant DNA techniques to determine how this particular species produces the antibiotic called pleuromutilin.
Pleuromutilin prevents the bacteria from producing protein, an essential component of its diet. Without protein, bacteria stops reproducing and consequently dies. Pleuromutilin also acts as the building block for the production of tiamulin, a biological compound effective in treating common hog diseases such as mycoplasmas, arthritis, enzootic pneumonia, and dysentery.
According to the PCARRD 2001 Highlights, the Philippines continues to hold a competitive position as among the leading hog raisers in the Asian Region. However, the report also states that Luzon's production rate—compared to that of Mindanao and Visayas—has plummeted in 2001 compared to earlier years. One of the reasons is the high mortality rate among swines on account of disease. The NRCP antibiotic derived from the mushroom has the clear potential to solve this problem.
Like tomatoes and apples, mushroom is a fruit. Scientists classify this fleshy fruit under the fungi kingdom—multi-cell microorganism that get their "food" and energy from other organisms. For thousand of years, humankind has recognized the varied uses of mushrooms. In addition to being an effective fermenting agent, it is also considered an efficient waste disposer and major manufacturer of organic fertilizer. It can grow everywhere and anywhere — from farm animal manure, from spoiled food in the kitchen, to the dead barks and leaves in the deepest reaches of foliage.
This latest NRCP research proves that the mushroom could no longer be ignored nor relegated as among the bottom dwellers in the plant kingdom. The discovery of pleuromutillin and tiamulin should prompt stronger government funding and support in order to boost the country's hograising industry and propel it to even greater global competitiveness.