Cordyceps sobolifera is an edible Chinese native medicinal material. Profiles of mannitol, polysaccharides, total saponins and total flavonoids in 12 populations of C. soboliferawere analyzed to evaluate the characteristics of this species. The amount of mannitol was uniformly distributed among the populations, which ranged from 5.78 to 10.91 g/100 g. The highest point reached by polysaccharide was 2.27 g/100 g and the lowest point was 0.35 g/100 g. It was the first report on content of total saponins in C. sobolifera and it was found not to be so rich in C. sobolifera. The highest amount of total flavonoids was 1.28 g/100 g. Mannitol was higher in stroma (11.37 g/100 g) than the one in sclerotium (6.42 g/100 g). It suggested that C. sobolifera might be a good source of mannitol. However, polysaccharide, total saponins and total flavonoids contents in the stroma were not different from those in the sclerotium.
Key words: Cordyceps sobolifera, mannitol, polysaccharide, total saponins, total flavonoids.
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