The Effect of Medicinal Mushrooms on Saccharomyces cerevisiae:
Using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a Model Organism for Cancer Research
Author: Kim Nguyen
Joplin High School, Joplin, Missouri, USA
Cancer is the number two leading cause of death worldwide (Cancer statistics, 2021). For three decades, medicinal mushrooms have been used in Chinese medicine along with chemotherapy and radiation therapy to help lower the risk of getting cancer (Medicinal Mushroom, 2021). This experiment investigated the effect of Ganoderma lingzhi (Reishi), Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail), Lentinula edodes (Shiitake), and Grifola frondosa (Maitake) on the cell division process of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast). It was hypothesized that if yeast was given mushroom treatments, then there would be a decrease in the quantity of yeast. This experiment was divided into three phases. Phase 1 used respirometers to calculate the ideal proportion of mushrooms to water. Phase 2 used methylene blue stain to dye cells for survival rate of cells count for each mushroom treatment. Finally, Phase 3 was measuring cell absorbance by using an optical density cell plate reader to see if mushroom treatments affected cell quantity. For Phase 1, the result showed 1 gram of all four mushroom powders had the biggest effect on cell growth. For Phase 2, only the low concentrations of each treatment showed a significant difference when being compared to each other (p-value=0.044). Lastly, for Phase 3, the mushroom powder did affect the turbidity level and slowed down the growth rate for all low, medium and high concentrations.