Its name originated from ancient China due to its unique development process.
The insect-borne fungi lives in the body of an insect in winter and then transforms into a mushroom in summer, so people thought that it had a mysterious essence of both animal and plant.
The hyphae of the insect-borne fungi invade a living insect's body through the cuticle or possibly through a spiracle during spring, summer or fall. They form a germ tube that penetrates into the insect's body, and then subsist entirely upon the nutrients inside the host's body. The insects eventually die from the cumulative effects of the fungal mass growing inside the body. Once the hyphae fill the insect's body, forming a solid, tissue-like resting state inside the host's body. It maintains the insect's body shape without any decay and develops into an external fruiting body during the next year.
The study of the insect-born fungi is still in the beginning because it is chronically underfunded. Fortunately, however, researchers in Korea finally found the way of plantation of the insect-borne fungi so it would be able to help down-cost the expenditure for the study, find new medical effects, and clear up the element of such effect.
Now in Korea, only two kinds of insect-borne fungi, by the hyphae of C.Militaris and P.Japonica have gotten the permission suitable for food from Korea Food & Drug Administration. C.Militaris develops into an orange-colored, more splendid than that of P.Japonica, external fruiting body and has much more recognition much more from abroad. It needs twice as much time for growing than the other. P.Japonica develops into a light yellow and thin, snow-shaped, external fruiting body. The another name of the insect-borne fungi by P.Japonica, nunkot(snow flower or snow flake) insect-borne fungi, came from its very shape.
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