On February 8th 2017, Assoc.Prof. Dr. Le Xuan Tham announced that he and his colleagues had identified the second species of shiitake mushroom in Vietnam and the eighth one in the world.

This identification had been internationally acknowledged after their findings were published in international scientific journals. The discoverers and researchers named this shiitake Bach Kim Huong, and Lentinula platinedodes Thám et Duong was proposed as its scientific name.

This shiitake species has been discovered and studied since 2009 by up-to-date methods before it was published as a new shiitake species in Vietnam and the world.

Scientists in the world used to confirm that Vietnam only had one shiitake species named Lentinula edodes growing naturally in mountainous areas with moist climates until this research was published. It after that has been cultivated in artificial conditions to provide commercial products with high nutrition and economic values.

After paying close attention to the mushroom-picking habits of local people near Cat Tien National Park (in Dong Nai and Lam Dong areas), Mr. Tham and his research group have found a strange edible mushroom popular in their meals.

Mr. Tham has led a group of his undergraduates to search for and photograph the mushrooms. Scientists from Da Lat University thereafter have collected the standard samples and cultivated them in the artificial environment.

In 2011, Mr. Tham instructed two students of master’s degree to defend their master research projects on the genetic analysis of the newly found mushroom Bach Kim Huong at the University of Paris-Sud, France. The analysis showed that the species possessed a genome different from any other discovered species of shiitake in the world.

According to Mr. Tham, Prof. Dr. David Hibbett (Harvard University) has made contact with his research group to offer a collaboration of a more in-depth study on this rare species as part of the Genomic Science Program (a major program specialized in studying new gene species) sponsored by the United States Department of Energy.

The group has also worked with the University of Toronto, Canada to analyze the spores of Bach Kim Huong at Da Lat Nuclear Research Institute to further understand the species, Mr. Tham said.

(According to TTO)