Fungus News -- ScienceDaily All about the fungus kingdom. From beneficial soil fungus to fungal infections, read the current research news on fungus here.

  • Fungal toxins easily become airborne, creating potential indoor health risk
    on June 23, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Toxins produced by three different species of fungus growing indoors on wallpaper may become aerosolized, and easily inhaled. The findings likely have implications for 'sick building syndrome. […]

  • Snake fungal disease identified in wild British snakes for first time
    on June 22, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Europe's wild snakes could face a growing threat from a fungal skin disease that has contributed to wild snake deaths in North America, according to an international collaborative study. […]

  • The two faces of rot fungi
    on June 22, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Yogurt, beer, bread and specialties such as tasty blue cheeses or good wine -- special microorganisms and refining processes first produce the pleasant flavors and enticing aromas of many foodstuffs. Researchers have now investigated the formation of rot in grapes and have shown that when this is caused by certain kinds of mold fungi, the resultant wine can have not only moldy but also floral aromas. […]

  • Blocking yeast-bacteria interaction may prevent severe biofilms that cause childhood tooth decay
    on June 20, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    In early childhood caries, a severe form of tooth decay that affects more than a third of toddlers in the US, yeast often partners with bacteria to form an intractable biofilm. New research reveals the mechanisms and suggests a way to block the interaction and reduce plaque. […]

  • Blocking gene expression to combat deadly fungal infection
    on June 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Deadly fungal infections are becoming resistant to common treatments, but a team of researchers have found a potential new solution. […]

  • Mosquito-killing fungi engineered with spider and scorpion toxins could help fight malaria
    on June 13, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    A mosquito-killing fungus genetically engineered to produce spider and scorpion toxins could serve as a highly effective biological control mechanism to fight malaria-carrying mosquitoes, scientists report. The fungus is specific to mosquitoes and does not pose a risk to humans. Further, the study results suggest that the fungus is also safe for honey bees and other insects. […]

  • Technology unlocks mold genomes for new drugs
    on June 12, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Fungi are rich sources of natural molecules for drug discovery, but numerous challenges have pushed pharmaceutical companies away from tapping into this bounty. Now scientists have developed technology that uses genomics and data analytics to efficiently screen for molecules produced by molds to find new drug leads -- maybe even the next penicillin. From three diverse fungal species, the research team discovered 17 new natural products. […]

  • Growth mechanism of fungi decoded
    on June 8, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Fungi grow with tubular cells extending by kilometers. Growth takes place exclusively at the tip. Researchers have now found out how this works: construction materials are transported on rails through the fungal cells and used at their outermost tip. Calcium concentration at the end of the cell defines when this happens. […]

  • World's oldest fossil mushroom found
    on June 7, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Roughly 115 million years ago, when the ancient supercontinent Gondwana was breaking apart, a mushroom fell into a river and began an improbable journey. Its ultimate fate as a mineralized fossil preserved in limestone in northeast Brazil makes it a scientific wonder, scientists report. […]

  • Fungi awake bacteria from their slumber
    on June 7, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    When a soil dries out, this has a negative impact on the activity of soil bacteria. Using an innovative combination of state-of-the-art analysis and imaging techniques, researchers have now discovered that fungi increase the activity of bacteria in dry and nutrient-poor habitats by supplying them with water and nutrients. The ability of fungi to regulate drought stress in soil and thus sustain ecosystem functions is an important insight in the context of climate change. […]

  • Guts to glory? Newly discovered enzyme complexes in herbivore digestive tracts show promise for...
    on June 6, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    A newly discovered enzyme complexes in herbivore digestive tracts show promise for sustainable fuels and medicines, report scientists. […]

  • Global warming may cause spike in asthma, allergy symptoms
    on June 6, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Exposure to a widespread outdoor fungus can increase cell damage (oxidative stress) in the airways, research shows. This spike weakens the airways’ barrier defense system that, when functioning normally, removes infection- and allergy-causing organisms (mucociliary clearance). […]

  • Climate change can alter the impact of forest pathogens in trees
    on May 30, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    New research on projected climate changes indicates that climate change has an alarming potential to increase the damage caused to Norway spruce trees by a naturally circulating disease spreading fungus. […]

  • Fruity with a note of fungus: How fungal infections change the aroma of wine
    on May 30, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    A recent study examining how two common types of fungal infection affect the aroma of wine reveals that both bunch rot (Botrytis cinerea) and powdery mildew (Erysiphe necator) do in fact change the aroma of wine, due to changes in chemical aroma substance composition. […]

  • Biologists find missing link for the 'safe' signal in plants
    on May 30, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Plant biologists have discovered how the plant metabolises jasmonic acid, issuing the signal 'safe.' […]

  • Biosynthetic secrets: How fungi make bioactive compounds
    on May 23, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Biological engineers have successfully decoded and reprogrammed the biosynthetic machinery that produces a variety of natural compounds found in fungi. […]

  • Intestinal fungi worsen alcoholic liver disease
    on May 23, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Liver cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of mortality worldwide and approximately half of those deaths are due to alcohol abuse. Yet apart from alcohol abstinence, there are no specific treatments to reduce the severity of alcohol-associated liver disease. Researchers have now linked intestinal fungi to increased risk of death for patients with alcohol-related liver disease. […]

  • Insight into enzyme's 3-D structure could cut biofuel costs
    on May 18, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Using neutron crystallography, research team has mapped the three-dimensional structure of a protein that breaks down polysaccharides, such as the fibrous cellulose of grasses and woody plants, a finding that could help bring down the cost of creating biofuels. […]

  • Deadly flower power? Imported tulip bulbs spread anti-fungal resistance
    on May 18, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Tulip and narcissus bulbs imported into Ireland from the Netherlands may be acting as vehicles for the international spread of a drug-resistant fungus -- with potentially fatal consequences. Experts advise people not to plant bulbs near hospitals or to gift them to at-risk patients. […]

  • Time flies: Insect fossils in amber shed light on India's geological history
    on May 17, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Researchers have identified three new species of insects encased in Cambay amber dating from over 54 million years ago. Researchers describe the new species of fungus gnats, which provide further clues to understanding India's past diversity and geological history. […]

  • Gladiator games: In the natural world, biodiversity can offer protection to weaker species
    on May 15, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    In a study of competition among fungal species, researchers have found that biodiversity tends to beget biodiversity, a finding that could help in efforts to protect some of the world's most threatened ecosystems, including coral reefs. […]

  • Microscopic soil creatures could orchestrate massive tree 'migrations'
    on May 8, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Warming temperatures are prompting some tree species in the Rocky Mountains to 'migrate' to higher elevations in order to survive. Researchers have discovered that tiny below-ground organisms play a role in this phenomenon -- and could be used to encourage tree migration in order to preserve heat-sensitive species. Their work shows how these invisible biotic communities create 'soil highways' for young trees, meaning they could determine how quickly species march uphill, if at all. […]

  • New major gene expression regulator in fungi
    on May 8, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Changing a single letter, or base, in an organism's genetic code impact its traits. Subtler changes can and do happen: in eukaryotes, one such modification involves adding a methyl group to base 6 of adenine (6mA). Researchers report the prevalence of 6mA modifications in the earliest branches of the fungal kingdom. This little-explored realm provides a repertoire of important and valuable gene products for DOE missions in bioenergy and environment. […]

  • Oldest orchid fossil on record identified
    on May 4, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    A newly published study documents evidence of an orchid fossil trapped in Baltic amber that dates back some 45 million years to 55 million years ago, shattering the previous record for an orchid fossil found in Dominican amber some 20-30 million years old. […]

  • Scientists engineer baker's yeast to produce penicillin molecules
    on May 4, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Scientists have inserted fungus genes into a yeast cell to make it produce penicillin molecules. In laboratory experiments, they were able to demonstrate that this yeast had antibacterial properties against streptococcus bacteria. […]

  • New capabilities for genome-wide engineering of yeast
    on May 4, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Researchers describe how their successful integration of several cutting-edge technologies -- creation of standardized genetic components, implementation of customizable genome editing tools, and large-scale automation of molecular biology laboratory tasks -- will enhance our ability to work with yeast. The results of their new method demonstrate its potential to produce valuable novel strains of yeast for industrial use, as well as to reveal a more sophisticated understanding of the yeast genome. […]

  • The world should brace itself for a new wave of biological invasions
    on May 3, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    An international team of scientists has identified how our rapidly changing world will bring new types of invaders, often from very unexpected places. […]

  • Symbiotic bacteria: From hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
    on April 28, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Bacterial symbionts transition between plant pathogenicity and insect defensive mutualism, a new report demonstrates. The bacterium Burkholderia gladioli lives in specific organs of a plant-feeding beetle and defends the insect's eggs from detrimental fungi by producing antibiotics. However, when transferred to a plant, the bacterium can spread throughout the tissues and negatively affect the plant. […]

  • Mushrooms get defensive
    on April 27, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Some mushrooms produce long-chain unsaturated carboxylic acids as their chemical defense against insect larvae. The biosynthesis of these polyenes relies on only one enzyme, as scientists have now discovered. They report the unprecedented multiple double-bond-shifting activity by the enzyme, which is representative of a yet uncharacterized phylogenetic clade of polyketide synthases. […]

  • Wasps and wine: Paper wasps contribute to sour rot disease, a scourge of wine industry
    on April 26, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    New research shows that the invasive European paper wasp, Polistes dominulus, plays a role in facilitating sour rot disease in the absence of other insects. […]