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

  • How did a deadly tropical fungus get to the temperate environs of the Pacific Northwest?
    on January 18, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    In what is being described as 'The Teddy Roosevelt effect,' a deadly fungus in the Pacific Northwest may have arrived from Brazil via the Panama Canal, according to a new study. Cryptococcus gattii -- which until a 1999 outbreak in British Columbia's Vancouver Island was considered primarily a tropical fungus -- can cause deadly lung and brain infections in both people and animals. […]

  • Self-healing fungi concrete could provide sustainable solution to crumbling infrastructure
    on January 17, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    A new self-healing fungi concrete could help repair cracks in aging concrete permanently, and help save America's crumbling infrastructure. […]

  • New antifungal provides hope in fight against superbugs
    on January 12, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Microscopic yeast have been wreaking havoc in hospitals around the world -- creeping into catheters, ventilator tubes, and IV lines -- and causing deadly invasive infection. One culprit species, Candida auris, is resistant to many antifungals, meaning once a person is infected, there are limited treatment options. But researchers have now confirmed a new drug compound kills drug-resistant C. auris, both in the laboratory and in a mouse model that mimics human infection. […]

  • Northern corn leaf blight genes identified in new study
    on January 12, 2018 at 3:40 am

    Midwestern corn growers know the symptoms of northern corn leaf blight all too well: greenish-gray lesions on the leaves that can add up to major yield losses if not detected and treated early. Corn resistance genes have been identified, but the fungal disease has found ways to sneak around corn's defenses. Now, researchers have discovered how the fungus is outsmarting corn, and they may be able to use this information to help corn fight back. […]

  • All in the family: Focused genomic comparisons
    on January 12, 2018 at 3:39 am

    Aspergillus fungi are pathogens, decomposers, and important sources of biotechnologically-important enzymes. Scientists now report the first outcome from the large-scale sequencing of 300+ Aspergillus species. These findings are a proof of concept of novel methods to functionally annotate genomes to more quickly identify genes of interest. […]

  • Scientists identify immune cells that keep gut fungi under control
    on January 11, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Immune cells that process food and bacterial antigens in the intestines control the intestinal population of fungi, according to a new study. Defects in the fungus-fighting abilities of these cells may contribute to some cases of Crohn's disease and other forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). […]

  • Deadly disinfection in ant colonies
    on January 9, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Ants kill colony mates infected with deadly diseases when they are unable to prevent them from falling sick in the first place. In doing so, the ants protect their colony from the outbreak of an epidemic. […]

  • Dead trees are alive with fungi
    on January 9, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    So far, little research has been conducted on fungi that live on dead trees, although they are vital to the forest ecology by breaking down dead wood and completing the element cycle between plants and soil. Soil biologists have now discovered that the number of fungus species inhabiting dead trees is 12 times higher than previously thought. Once trees die they are also colonized by different fungal communities depending on their species. […]

  • Agricultural fungicide attracts honey bees
    on January 8, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    When given the choice, honey bee foragers prefer to collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar syrup alone, researchers report. […]

  • Yeast may be the solution to toxic waste clean-up
    on January 8, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    About 46,000 nuclear weapons were produced during the Cold War era, leading to tremendous volumes of acidic radioactive liquid waste seeping into the environment. A new study suggests yeast as a potentially safer and more cost effective way to help clean up these radioactive waste sites. […]

  • Lethal fungus that causes white-nose syndrome may have an Achilles' heel
    on January 2, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    In the course of genomic analyses of the fungus behind white-nose-syndrome, a devastating disease that has killed millions of bats in North America, US Forest Service scientists discovered something very surprising: brief exposure to UV-light kills Pseudogymnoascus destructans. […]

  • New term for role of microbiota in neurodegeneration proposed
    on December 22, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Recent studies have shown that gut microbes may cause or worsen Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. Neurologists have proposed a new term to describe an interaction between gut microbiota and the brain: mapranosis. […]

  • Wheat disease breakthrough to help feed the world
    on December 21, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Famine may be largely a thing of the past but in recent years the re-emergence of a disease that can kill wheat -- which provides a fifth of humanity's food -- has threatened food security; now a wheat stem rust breakthrough is being announced. […]

  • Climate change: Soil animals cannot explain self-reinforcing effect
    on December 21, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    When the soil warms up, it releases more carbon dioxide (CO2) -- an effect that further fuels climate change. Until now, it had been assumed that the reason for this was mainly due to the presence of small soil animals and microorganisms that would eat and breathe more in warmer temperatures. However, a new study has shown that this is not the case. Quite the contrary: If warmth is accompanied by drought, the soil animals eat even less. […]

  • How fungi helped create life as we know it
    on December 18, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Today our world is visually dominated by animals and plants, but this world would not have been possible without fungi, say scientists. […]

  • Potato blight’s chemical attack mechanism explained
    on December 15, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Researchers have deciphered the workings of a cytolytic toxin, which is produced by some of the world’s most devastating crop diseases. The Cytolysin is manufactured by pathogens such as bacteria and fungi and can wipe out entire harvests if chemical protection is not used. […]

  • Using genomics to determine origins of deadly White-Nose Syndrome
    on December 12, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    A new study is trying to definitively answer several questions about White-Nose Syndrome in bats: where did this fungus come from? And more importantly, can a resistance be evolved? […]

  • Common fungus helps dengue virus thrive in mosquitoes
    on December 7, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    A species of fungus that lives in the gut of some Aedes aegypti mosquitoes increases the ability of dengue virus to survive in the insects, according to a study. […]

  • Life under the surface in live broadcast
    on December 7, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Researchers have invented new systems to study the life of microorganisms in the ground. Without any digging, the researchers are able use microchips to see and analyze an invisible world that is filled with more species than any other ecosystem. […]

  • Deadly cryptococcal fungi found in public spaces in South Africa
    on December 6, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii have been found large numbers on trees in South Africa. […]

  • Belowground fungal interactions with trees help explain non-native plant invasions
    on December 1, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    The invasion of nonnative plants above-ground is strongly related to what type of mycorrhizal fungi are dominant below-ground in forest ecosystems. […]

  • What’s the largest terrestrial organism?
    on December 1, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    The giant sequoia? Nope. The African elephant? Not even close. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) December 1 Soils Matter blog post shares that the largest land organism is ... a fungus! […]

  • Lichen that changes its reproductive strategy according to the climate
    on November 29, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Symbiosis between fungi and microalgae gives rise to lichen. Some lichen, however, such as Lobaria scrobiculata, have a unique feature: the fungus establishes a symbiosis with a cyanobacteria, thus requiring water in liquid form to activate photosynthesis. According to a new study, this forces the lichen to concentrate its resources on reproduction in places where water is scarce. For the first time, this study demonstrates the theory of life strategies in fungi. […]

  • Cell cycle proteins help immune cells trap microbes with nets made of DNA
    on November 20, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    In your bloodstream, there are immune cells called neutrophils that, when faced with a pathogenic threat, will expel their DNA like a net to contain it. These DNA snares are called neutrophil extracellular traps or NETs. Researchers describe an important step in how these NETs are released and how they stop a fungus from establishing an infection in mice and human cells. […]

  • Raindrops splash pathogens onto crops
    on November 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses or fungi, cause harmful plant disease and often lead to the destruction of agricultural fields. With many possible dispersal methods, it can often be difficult to assess the damage of a pathogen’s impact before it’s too late. […]

  • Flower attracts insects by pretending to be a mushroom
    on November 15, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    The mysterious flowers of Aspidistra elatior are found on the southern Japanese island of Kuroshima. Until recently, scientists thought that  A. elatior  had the most unusual pollination ecology among all flowering plants, being pollinated by slugs and amphipods. However, direct observation of their ecosystem has revealed that they are mainly pollinated by fungus gnats, probably thanks to their resemblance to mushrooms. […]

  • Saving cavendish: Panama disease-resistant bananas
    on November 15, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Researchers have developed and grown modified Cavendish bananas resistant to the devastating soil-borne fungus Fusarium wilt tropical race 4 (TR4), also known as Panama disease. […]

  • Microbiome transplants provide disease resistance in critically-endangered Hawaiian plant
    on November 14, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    A team of researchers transplanted microbes to restore the health of a critically endangered Hawaiian plant that, until now, had been driven to extinction in the wild and only survived in managed greenhouses under heavy doses of fungicide. […]

  • Sun's role in mitigating fungal disease of mango fruit
    on November 14, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    The occurrence of stem end rot (SER) during storage means major losses for mango fruit growers and suppliers. Promising new research explores sunlight's role in cultivating a beneficial mix of microorganisms that help mitigate SER. […]

  • Combating devastating amphibian disease
    on November 14, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by infection with the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis fungus, is the most devastating vertebrate disease on record. […]