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  • July 26, 2016
  • 10:22 AM

Fungi found flourishing following fire

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Morels and several other fungi (all members of the order Pezizales) are known to produce their mushrooms in recently burned soil, whether it's the result of a nice little campfire or an entire forest going up in smoke. The fire creates the right conditions for the fungus, which lies beneath the ground and so protected from flames and heat, to send up mushrooms. These mushrooms release spores into the environment, and the circle of life continues ever onward.In the case of morels, it's thought a ........ Read more »

  • April 20, 2016
  • 08:22 AM

Almost lichens: Green algae growing on mushrooms

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Mushrooms come in many shapes and colours. In the case of green ones, which I've written about previously, a subset owe their colour not to any particular pigment they themselves produce, but rather to algae living on top of them.These algae-bearing fungi are usually polypores, otherwise known as bracket or shelf fungi. They tend to live inside dead trees, although they also be found in soil living in association with tree roots. After eating their fill of delicious wood, polypores produce shelf........ Read more »

  • April 12, 2016
  • 10:47 AM

Return of the wild: How nature breaks down what we build up

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

When I was a teenager, I read Stephen King's book The Stand. It begins with the near-obliteration of humankind by a lethal virus. This was weirdly alluring stuff for a angsty teenage daydreamer. What would you do if the world ended? What would be your fate? I figured I'd make it a couple of months on canned food before succumbing to some sort of brutal antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection.... Read more »

  • April 7, 2016
  • 08:28 AM

Some fungi are into dead bodies and waste piles

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

For the past couple of years now, a fungus called Xylaria polymorpha has been munching on the buried roots of a beheaded tree on my parents' front lawn. In the grass surrounding the stump, X. polymorpha sends up a thicket of charcoal club-like mushrooms every summer. They look kinda like a dead man's fingers, which not coincidentally happens to be a common name for the fungus.... Read more »

  • March 17, 2016
  • 04:40 PM

Green fungi for a certain March-based holiday

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

In honour of St. Patrick's Day, here are a couple of neat green fungi. I was going to do plants, but there are just so many to choose from. Ha ha.... Read more »

Santi L, Maggioli C, Mastroroberto M, Tufoni M, Napoli L, & Caraceni P. (2012) Acute liver failure caused by Amanita phalloides poisoning. International Journal of Hepatology. DOI: 10.1155/2012/487480  

Schuster A, & Schmoll M. (2010) Biology and biotechnology of Trichoderma. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 87(3), 787-799. DOI: 10.1007/s00253-010-2632-1  

  • December 9, 2015
  • 04:02 PM

Poronia punctata grows sepia golf tees and tussles with its poop neighbours

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

As I touched on previously in a tale of an epic romance, fungi are master consumers of everything organic. If it's a solid or liquid constructed mostly of carbon and hydrogen atoms, at least a couple of fungi out there can wring energy from the chemical bonds holding it together.In addition to mowing down on living and dead organisms, fungi are known to feast on animal poop. Digestion isn't a perfect process, so its end product, while unpleasant to the senses, isn't devoid of nutrients. Coprophi........ Read more »

  • October 26, 2015
  • 01:42 PM

Dogtooth violets aren't violets, but resemble fish and teeth

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

I've been slowly working my way through Life, a nature documentary TV series produced by the BBC. It's wonderfully shot (lots of fantastic time-lapse sequences) and there's classic Attenborough narration to walk you through a strong sampling of the amazing stuff organisms manage to get up to. The episode on plants has been on my mind lately. It touches on several of the strategies they use to obtain light (e.g. vines growing up a tree to escape its shadow) or essential nutrients (insect-capturin........ Read more »

  • January 17, 2014
  • 12:10 PM

Sloth Fur is a Full on Fungal Forest

by Chris Tucker in The Mycelium Connection

When looking for new antibiotics, researchers are sometimes forced to explore uncharted territories.I mean, if it weren't for Fleming's open petri dish exposing the greatness that was Penicillin, where would we be?Now, a group of researchers has looked to a new and exciting location for what could be the basis for a whole host of future antibiotics and medical marvels... Sloth Hair. Well, not the hair itself, but the microbiome that grows upon it."You're welcome."Sloths are basically slow moving........ Read more »

  • January 8, 2014
  • 04:22 PM

Mycorrhizal Management of Atmospheric Carbon

by Chris Tucker in The Mycelium Connection

A study published in the January 08, 2014 edition of Nature looked into the relationship of Nitrogen and Carbon storage in soil when compared to atmospheric Carbon as it related to the competition exerted by mycorrhizal fungi. And their studied revealed just how important mycorrhizal fungi (the symbiotic fungi associated with plant roots) are in this relationship.An important contributor to atmospheric Carbon is the decomposition of organics in the soil by free living microbes.  One of the ........ Read more »

  • May 24, 2013
  • 08:57 AM

Could you fill a beaker with the fungi in your body?

by Fungi in Bath Fungal Research

--> The mycobiome is starting to get a little traction!When will we know the weight of the fungi on and in our bodies? The human microbiota has been recognized as hugely important in the last few years, but that has almost entirely focused on bacteria. I’ve been interested in the mycobiome of the human built environment for a while, and I certainly haven’t been alone. People tend to think of fungi as a problem in buildings, on or in plants, and in the outside air. However, there is ........ Read more »

Iliev, I., Funari, V., Taylor, K., Nguyen, Q., Reyes, C., Strom, S., Brown, J., Becker, C., Fleshner, P., Dubinsky, M.... (2012) Interactions Between Commensal Fungi and the C-Type Lectin Receptor Dectin-1 Influence Colitis. Science, 336(6086), 1314-1317. DOI: 10.1126/science.1221789  

Findley, K., Oh, J., Yang, J., Conlan, S., Deming, C., Meyer, J., Schoenfeld, D., Nomicos, E., Park, M., Becker, J.... (2013) Topographic diversity of fungal and bacterial communities in human skin. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature12171  

  • May 16, 2013
  • 02:42 PM

All Your Amphibian Are Belong To Us

by Chris Tucker in The Mycelium Connection

It is official, the chytrid Fungi have reached all three of the extant amphibian orders.Chytrid fungi are the cause of global decimation in frogs and toads, as well as newts and salamanders. But, until now, the lesser known caecilians had managed to evade their mycelial grasp. That ends now!Goodbye Mr. Bond CaecilianA recent study released in the journal EcoHealth has found the first cases of chytridiomycosis in the legless amphibians. Unfortunately, EcoHealth is not a free journal so all I can ........ Read more »

Gower, D., Doherty-Bone, T., Loader, S., Wilkinson, M., Kouete, M., Tapley, B., Orton, F., Daniel, O., Wynne, F., Flach, E.... (2013) Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Infection and Lethal Chytridiomycosis in Caecilian Amphibians (Gymnophiona). EcoHealth. DOI: 10.1007/s10393-013-0831-9  

  • March 29, 2013
  • 08:15 PM

Getting to the Roots (and Fungi) of Carbon Sequestration

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

This week, I found a paper that I’m calling the best of both worlds. Well, for me at least. This paper combines my past (and lingering) interest in island biogeography with a current interest in climate change and carbon storage.If you have been reading my blog long enough then you already know my love of islands. They are just so darn useful. In the past, I have focused on oceanic islands, but lake islands are also really neat. These types of islands typically form when lower lying land........ Read more »

Clemmensen, K., Bahr, A., Ovaskainen, O., Dahlberg, A., Ekblad, A., Wallander, H., Stenlid, J., Finlay, R., Wardle, D., & Lindahl, B. (2013) Roots and Associated Fungi Drive Long-Term Carbon Sequestration in Boreal Forest. Science, 339(6127), 1615-1618. DOI: 10.1126/science.1231923  

  • December 31, 2012
  • 04:52 PM

Zygosaccharomyces bailii wants to ruin your Snakejuice

by Chris Tucker in The Mycelium Connection

We are upon the hour of a new year, which of course means booze! Now, we all know that there will be a medley of alcohols consumed tonight. I am sure that we are also all fully aware that we owe thanks to yeasts, for making that fermentation process so readily available. But not all yeasts want to help with your intoxication. And in the same way they will spoil your good times, those yeasts are called spoilage yeasts.One of the widest spread spoilage yeasts, Zygosaccharomyces bailii, is so ........ Read more »

  • November 14, 2012
  • 09:15 PM

How Cryptococcus Bypasses the Blood Brain Barrier

by Chris Tucker in The Mycelium Connection

Cordyceps is widely known as the zombie fungus because it likes to take over the brain functions of it victim. Often causing them to do things they normally wouldn't and leading to their demise.But Cordyceps is not something that humans have to worry about. No, we have our own fungal nasties and one of the worst is Cryptococcus neoformans... I mean it has the word "Crypt" right there in its name! But what does C. neoformans have to do with Cordyceps? Cryptococcus neoformansWell, for starters, it........ Read more »

  • November 10, 2012
  • 01:31 PM

How Hard Can It Be?

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Blastocystis Parasite Blog

How strange the world of clinical microbiology is when you compare the fields of mycology, parasitology, bacteriology and virology to each other. Such different possibilities, opportunities, limitations, and diagnostic challenges!... Read more »

Stensvold, C., Jørgensen, L., & Arendrup, M. (2012) Azole-Resistant Invasive Aspergillosis: Relationship to Agriculture. Current Fungal Infection Reports, 6(3), 178-191. DOI: 10.1007/s12281-012-0097-7  

Maertens J, Theunissen K, Verhoef G, & Van Eldere J. (2004) False-positive Aspergillus galactomannan antigen test results. Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, 39(2), 289-90. PMID: 15307045  

Munasinghe VS, Stark D, & Ellis JT. (2012) New advances in the in-vitro culture of Dientamoeba fragilis. Parasitology, 139(7), 864-9. PMID: 22336222  

  • October 22, 2012
  • 04:37 PM

Wastewater Washes Away Mycorrhizal Diversity

by Chris Tucker in The Mycelium Connection

When man first began to settle out of the hunter-gatherer phase of our evolution we did so in fertile areas. We would perhaps stop where there was a constant source of water, and fair enough weather to allow us a safe and permanent homestead. But, as the world’s population increased those ideal spots became competitive and not everybody had access to things like constant supplies of water to manage crops with.Enter irrigation: the best agricultural idea since somebody first dropped a seed in a........ Read more »

  • September 24, 2012
  • 05:24 PM

Mood Lighting for Hypocrea jecorina

by Chris Tucker in The Mycelium Connection

Just picture the soft blue light glimmering off some well developed stroma, strong mycelial growth subtly reaching out with its probing filaments. Some sexual reproduction is going down today.Now think of what it is like after that blue light so embodying of the twilight hour stays all the time, or never comes around at all. The light becomes harsh, showing off your conidiation, it is easy to see why stroma can't perform under such... revealing exposure. And while the velvet darkness can se........ Read more »

Chia-Ling Chen, Hsiao-Che Kuo, Shu-Yu Tung, Paul Wei-Che Hsu, Chih-Li Wang, Christian Seibel, Monika Schmoll, Ruey-Shyang Chen, & Ting-Fang Wang. (2012) Blue Light Acts as a Double-Edged Sword in Regulating Sexual Development of Hypocrea jecorina (Trichoderma reesei). PLOS One. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044969  

  • September 12, 2012
  • 12:22 PM

How Some Frogs Fight Fungi: Bacterial Buddies

by Chris Tucker in The Mycelium Connection

Around the world we are seeing mass populations of frogs go into population decline. Heck, my very first actual blog post was about how a group of frogs in Southeast United States found a way to survive. But it isn’t alone.When looking at frog populations in the tropics one can find enough data to support the basic fact: Chytridiomycosis appears to be a cool weather disease.  For one, lower temperature on a cold blooded frog leads to a potentially weaker immune system. And for another thi........ Read more »

  • September 4, 2012
  • 08:03 PM

Pestalotiopsis Gets a Backbone

by Chris Tucker in The Mycelium Connection

The genus Pestalotiopsis is home to some well known plant pathogens. While generally not causing severe disease, they are always willing and ready to take advantage of weakened or injured foliage. One species, Pestalotiopsis microspora, even has a well documented ability of digesting polyurethane.However; catagorizing the species within this genus can be quite daunting, it has a confusing taxonomic history. For instance the spores of Pestalotiopsis looks remarkably like Seiridium abietinum, exce........ Read more »

Sajeewa S. N. Maharachchikumbura, Liang-Dong Guo, Lei Cai, Ekachai Chukeatirote, Wen Ping Wu, Xiang Sun, Pedro W. Crous, D. Jayarama Bhat, Eric H. C. McKenzie, & Ali H. Bahkali. (2012) A multi-locus backbone tree for Pestalotiopsis, with a polyphasic characterization of 14 new species . Fungal Diversity. DOI: 10.1007/s13225-012-0198-1  

  • August 29, 2012
  • 07:20 AM

More Basidiobolus Emergence?

by Fungi in Bath Fungal Research

Basidiobolus (the fungus that pictured on the background image of this blog) still seems to be gaining steam as a possibly emerging and/or frequently mis- or undiagnosed pathogen in incompetent humans (see my previous hacky post about this). In another paper out in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, Geramizadeh et al. report 14 more cases over the last decade in southern Iran (Fars province). Although only a single case is reported with positive culture identification, the other cases were pre........ Read more »

Bita Geramizadeh, Razieh Foroughi, Marzieh Keshtkarjahromi, Seyedali Malekhosseini, & Abdolvahab Alborzi. (2012) Gastrointestinal basidiobolomycosis, an emerging infection in immunocompetent host: a report of 14 patients . Journal of Medical Microbiology. DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.046839-0  

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