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De Kroonbekerzwam, Sarcosphaera coronaria, een giftige, sterk arsenicum-houdende paddenstoel.   01/04/2008

Bron: Tjakko Stijve
Sterbeeckia 28: 17 - 22 (2008)



Abstract: (The Crown Fungus, Sarcosphaera coronaria, a hyperaccumulator of arsenic, stores the poison as methylarsonic acid)

– The Crown Fungus, Sarcosphaera coronaria, is a rare species in Northern Europe, but rather common in the Alps. Older books

present the mushroom as a good edible, whereas more recent guides label it as toxic, especially when eaten raw. In May 1920, a

number of poisoning cases, including a fatality, occurred in Courtételle, a village in the Swiss Jura. An investigation prompted

the warning that the Crown Fungus should not be eaten raw or in salad. It is still rather common opinion that S. coronaria

contains heat labile toxic methylhydrazine derivatives, just as Gyromitra esculenta, but chemical analysis has disproved this long

ago. The Crown Fungus is a hyperaccumulator of arsenic, and its concentrations are roughly proportional to the amount present

in the soil. Collections from a Czech mining area contained as much as 0,71 % on dry matter. Most of the arsenic is present as

methylarsonic acid (MAA), a less toxic, but still dangerous form of the element. The variable MAA content is responsible for the

controversial reputation of the mushroom. It could be demonstrated that the soil at the site of Courtételle in the Jura is rich in

arsenic, presumably due to mining activities and iron production in the late Middle Ages. Consequently, the poisonings reported

from there in the 1920ies can be explained by the exceptionally high MAA content of the locally gathered Crown Fungus.

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