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

  • Peroxisomes identified as 'fighters' in the battle against bacterial infections
    on August 17, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Peroxisomes are required for cells in the innate immune response to bacteria and fungi. Now scientists have found that peroxisomes are necessary for proper functioning of the innate immune system, the body's first line of defense against microorganisms. […]

  • Adding silicon to soil to strengthen plant defenses
    on August 15, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Researchers have examined the addition of silicon to the soil in which plants are grown to help strengthen plants against potential predators. […]

  • Scientists map sex chromosome evolution in pathogenic fungi
    on August 11, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Researchers recently mapped the evolutionary turning point that transformed the pathogenic Cryptococcus fungus from an organism with thousands of sexes to only two. They found that during evolution, a reshuffling of DNA known as translocation brought together separate chunks of sex-determining genes onto a single chromosome, essentially mimicking the human X or Y chromosome. Surprisingly, these translocations occurred at the chromosome's centromeres, regions so dense that they were once thought to suppress recombination. […]

  • Deadly fungus affecting hibernating bats could spread during summer
    on August 1, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    The cold-loving fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans, or Pd) that causes white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of North American bats during hibernation, could also spread in summer months. Bats and humans visiting contaminated caves and mines can inadvertently contribute to the spread of the fungus, according to a recently published study. […]

  • Diagnosing and treating invasive fungal infections
    on August 1, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Thousands of patients suffering from invasive fungal infections in intensive-care units or after organ transplantation will benefit from the latest insights into diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. […]

  • Fungal spores harness physics to launch themselves
    on July 26, 2017 at 12:41 am

    More than a century ago, Reginald Buller discovered that a spherical drop of water that forms close to a spore is crucial to the spore's dispersal. Now, using an ink jet printer and high speed cameras, researchers have uncovered the detailed mechanics of the way fungal spores have evolved to harness the power of merging water droplets to launch in a uniform manner. […]

  • Symbiosis: Butter for my honey
    on July 25, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Textbooks tell us that, in arbuscular mycorrhizal symbioses, the host plant supplies its fungal symbionts solely with sugars, in return for inorganic nutrients. New findings now show that lipids are also on the menu. […]

  • Fungi that evolved to eat wood offer new biomass conversion tool
    on July 24, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Twenty years ago, a microbiologist and colleagues discovered a unique system that some microorganisms use to digest and recycle wood. Three orders of 'brown rot fungi' have now been identified that can break down biomass, but details of the mechanism were not known. Now, using several complementary research tools, these researchers report new details of an unexpected mechanism at work, one that surprisingly does not involve enzymes, the usual accelerators of chemical reactions. […]

  • New non-photosynthesizing plant species discovered on Ishigaki island, Japan
    on July 24, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    A new species of non-photosynthesizing parasitic plant has been discovered on the subtropical island of Ishigaki in Okinawa, Japan and named Sciaphila sugimotoi. […]

  • Alternative antimicrobial compounds could come from wastewater
    on July 20, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Municipal wastewater may become a key ally in the fight against antibiotic-resistant disease-causing bacteria and fungi, a new study has found. […]

  • Bac-for good: Bacteria passed between generations benefits you more than others
    on July 17, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Bacteria passed straight to children have more healthcare benefits than if they are transmitted via the surrounding environment, new research reveals. […]

  • Fungi can be used as biomonitors for assessing radioactivity in our environment
    on July 13, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    The Environmental Radioactivity Laboratory of the UEx has carried out a study to quantify radioactive presence in fungi. According to the research, this quantification is made using transfer coefficients that compare the radioactive content in the receptor compartment (fungi) of the radioactive contamination, to that existing in the transmitter compartment (soil). From the study, we may conclude that fungi can be used when assessing the presence or absence of radioactive contamination in the soil. […]

  • Botanists discover hundreds of species of fungi in deep coral ecosystems
    on July 12, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Hundreds of potentially new species of fungi have been discovered in the deep coral ecosystem in the 'Au'au channel off Maui, Hawai'i. These mesophotic coral ecosystems are generally found at depths between 130 - 500 feet and possess abundant plant (algal) life as well as new fish species. […]

  • Studying fungi to keep space travelers safe on new worlds
    on July 11, 2017 at 3:27 am

    Human presence in closed habitats that may one day be used to explore other planets is associated with changes in the composition of the fungal community - the mycobiome - that grows on surfaces inside the habitat, according to a new study. […]

  • Litter bugs may protect chocolate supply
    on July 8, 2017 at 1:11 am

    Mother's microbiome seems to protect baby cacao plants, a result with important implications for protecting the world's chocolate supply. […]

  • Protecting wheat from wheat blast fungus, a potentially devastating disease
    on July 6, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Scientists have uncovered an important link to a disease which left unchecked could prove devastating to wheat. […]

  • Hot imagery of wintering bats suggests group behavior for battling white-nose syndrome
    on July 5, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Hot new imagery from temperature-sensing cameras suggests that bats who warm up from hibernation together throughout the winter may be better at surviving white nose syndrome, a disease caused by a cold-loving fungus ravaging insect-eating bat populations in the United States and Canada. […]

  • Ancient fungi could help Canada's future northern forests
    on July 5, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    As Canada's vast boreal and tundra ecosystems experience dramatic warming due to climate change, trees are rapidly spreading north. New research suggests some of these trees could be getting help from a surprising source: fungi that have lain dormant underground for thousands of years. […]

  • Fungi are key players of the deep biosphere
    on July 4, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    In addition to the life on the surface of the Earth and in its oceans, ecosystems have evolved deep under us in a realm coined the “deep biosphere” which stretches several kilometers down into the bedrock. Down there, the conditions are harsh and life is forced to adjust to a lifestyle that we at the surface would call extreme. One major difference to surface conditions is the lack of oxygen; a compound we take for granted and consider to be a prerequisite for survival but which subsurface life has to cope without. […]

  • Soybean rust study will allow breeders to tailor resistant varieties to local pathogens
    on June 28, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Midwestern growers don't worry much about soybean rust, but the fungal disease has been popping up at the end of the growing season nearly every year since 2006. But because the fungus can't survive winter without a host plant, it's not much of a threat to Midwest crops under current conditions. But it's a major problem for soybean growers in Africa and South America. Researchers have evaluated which strains are most virulent. […]

  • 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. […]