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Five edible mushrooms, Volvariella volvacea, Flammulina velutipes, Agaricus bisporus, Pleurotus ostreatus andLentinus edodes, were extracted by refluxing with either water or 75% ethanol as the solvent. The antioxidant activity andprotective effect on DNA strand scission were investigated by using different antioxidant assay systems and DNA strandnicking assay, respectively. Water and 75% ethanol extracts of Agaricus bisporus and Volvariella volvacea had higher totalsoluble phenolics than those of the three other edible mushrooms. The 75% ethanol extract of Agaricus bisporus showed thehighest scavenging activities of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydryl (DPPH), 2,2'-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid(ABTS) and hydrogen peroxide, but the lowest scavenging activity of hydroxyl radicals, suggesting that it was the total solublephenolics of the extract that largely contribute to the scavenging effects. The water and 75% ethanol extracts of Agaricusbisporus efficiently protected plasmid DNA from the oxidative damage induced by peroxyl or hydroxyl radicals due to UVirradiation.