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

  • Olive oil and fungus protect wood from wood rot
    on November 5, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    A fungus that does not attack wood, but preserves it. It sounds strange, but it is possible. A new study shows that black fungi on oiled wood can behave like a 'biofinish'. This layer colors the wood and protects it from wood rot and degradation by sunlight. An additional advantage: the fungus automatically repairs damage in the protective layer. […]

  • Caterpillar, fungus in cahoots to threaten fruit, nut crops, study finds
    on November 5, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    New research reveals that Aspergillus flavus, a fungus that produces carcinogenic aflatoxins that can contaminate seeds and nuts, has a multilegged partner in crime: the navel orangeworm caterpillar, which targets some of the same nut and fruit orchards afflicted by the fungus. Scientists report that the two pests work in concert to overcome plant defenses and resist pesticides. […]

  • With a little help from their friends
    on November 1, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    A new study shows that plant-associated bacteria protect their hosts by competing with harmful filamentous microbes for access to plant roots. […]

  • Off-patent drug appears promising as broad-spectrum antifungal
    on October 31, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    By screening a library of off-patent drugs, scientists have identified a compound with promising broad-spectrum antifungal activity. The compound, alexidine dihydrochloride, warrants further development as a pan-fungal, anti-biofilm drug, according to the research. […]

  • Golf course managers challenged by fungicide-resistant turf grass disease
    on October 24, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Dollar spot -- the most common, troublesome and damaging turfgrass disease plaguing golf courses -- is becoming increasingly resistant to fungicides applied to manage it, according to researchers. […]

  • Genetic profile for a section of Aspergillus fungi
    on October 22, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Aspergillus is an important fungal genus, with roles in agriculture, biotechnology, human health, enzyme production and food fermentation. Scientists now present the first large analysis of an Aspergillus fungal subgroup, section Nigri. […]

  • Plant hormone makes space farming a possibility
    on October 17, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    With scarce nutrients and weak gravity, growing potatoes on the Moon or on other planets seems unimaginable. But the plant hormone strigolactone could make it possible, plant biologists have shown. The hormone supports the symbiosis between fungi and plant roots, thus encouraging plants' growth -- even under the challenging conditions found in space. […]

  • How beetle larvae thrive on carrion
    on October 15, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    The burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides buries the cadavers of small animals to use them as a food source for its offspring. However, the carcass is susceptible to microbial decomposition. Researchers show that the beetles replace harmful microorganisms with their own beneficial gut symbionts, thus turning a carcass into a nursery with a microbial community that even promotes larval growth. […]

  • Unravelling the genetics of fungal fratricide
    on October 15, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Selfish genes are genes that are passed on to the next generation but confer no advantage on the individual as a whole, and may sometimes be harmful. Researchers have, for the first time, sequenced (or charted) two selfish genes in the fungus Neurospora intermedia that cause fungal spores to kill their siblings. Unexpectedly, the genes were not related to each other, perhaps indicating that selfish genes are more common than previously thought. […]

  • Genetic Achilles heel hurts humans fighting hepatitis C
    on October 11, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    An antimicrobial signaling molecule called interferon lambda 4 has lower activity against the hepatitis C virus in the vast majority of humans compared with chimpanzees and African hunter-gatherer Pygmies, according to a new study. […]

  • Louisiana amphibian shows unique resistance to global disease
    on October 9, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Amphibian populations around the world are declining due to a skin disease caused by fungus. However, an amphibian commonly found in Louisiana, the three-toed amphiuma, has shown a resistance to the fungus. […]

  • Expanding fungal diversity, one cell at a time
    on October 8, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Researchers have developed a pipeline to generate genomes from single cells of uncultivated fungi. The approach was tested on several uncultivated fungal species representing early diverging fungi, the earliest evolutionary branches in the fungal genealogy that provide a repertoire of important and valuable gene products. […]

  • Fungus provides powerful medicine in fighting honey bee viruses
    on October 4, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    A mushroom extract fed to honey bees greatly reduces virus levels, according to a new paper. In field trials, colonies fed mycelium extract showed a 79-fold reduction in deformed wing virus and a 45,000-fold reduction in Lake Sinai virus compared to control colonies. The hope is that the results of this research will help dwindling honey bee colonies fight viruses that are known to play a role in colony collapse disorder. […]

  • Common herbicide compound may save millions of lives
    on October 4, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    A chemical compound found in common herbicides could help fight hospital-acquired human fungal pathogenic infections, which claim an estimated two million lives per year. Researchers have discovered that the chemical chlorimuron ethyl also targets a range of fungal infections that are potentially fatal to humans, particularly people undergoing treatments which place the immune system under stress. […]

  • Tropical frogs found to coexist with deadly fungus
    on October 3, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    In 2004, the frogs of El Copé, Panama, began dying by the thousands. The culprit: the deadly chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Within months, roughly half of native frog species there went locally extinct. A new study suggests that frogs remaining in El Copé developed the ability to coexist with chytrid fungus due to ecological and/or evolutionary changes. The results could mean good news for other areas hit hard by chytrid fungus. […]

  • Set in amber, fossil ants help reconstruct evolution of fungus farming
    on October 1, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    A new study makes it clear that the constant threat of crop parasites repeatedly pushed evolution in strikingly similar directions in ants, creating structures that helped the ants reinforce their partnership with bacteria. […]

  • In dangerous fungal family's befriending of plants, a story of loss
    on September 28, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Researchers show that gene loss -- not the evolution of new genes -- helped drive the fly amanita mushroom into its symbiotic relationship with plants. […]

  • Antibiotics destroy 'good bacteria' and worsen oral infection
    on September 26, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Researchers found that antibiotics actually kill the 'good' bacteria keeping infection and inflammation at bay. […]

  • Gut fungus exacerbates asthma in antibiotic-treated mice
    on September 20, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    A non-pathogenic fungus can expand in the intestines of antibiotic-treated mice and enhance the severity of allergic airways disease, according to a new study. The findings suggest that alterations in gut microbiota induced by intestinal fungi might be a previously unrecognized but potentially important risk of antibiotic therapy in patients with asthma and other respiratory diseases. […]

  • We are bombarded by thousands of diverse species and chemicals
    on September 20, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Scientists have measured the human 'exposome,' or the particulates, chemicals and microbes that individually swaddle us all, in unprecedented detail. […]

  • Test could detect patients at risk from lethal fungal spores
    on September 20, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Scientists have discovered a genetic mutation in humans linked to a 17-fold increase in the amount of dangerous fungal spores in the lungs. The study could allow doctors to screen patients at risk from Aspergillus, and could easily be developed into a test. […]

  • How plants harness microbes to get nutrients
    on September 17, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Scientists have discovered how plants harness microbes in soil to get nutrients, a process that could be exploited to boost crop growth, fight weeds and slash the use of polluting fertilizers and herbicides. […]

  • Alpine ecosystems struggle to recover from nitrogen deposition
    on September 4, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    A new research study finds that degraded alpine ecosystems showed limited recovery years after long-term inputs of human-caused nitrogen air pollution, with soil acidification and effects on biodiversity lingering even after a decade of much lower nitrogen input levels. […]

  • Sexual development in fungi
    on September 4, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Biologists have gained new insights into specific enzymes that effect the specialization of fungal cells. Analyzing the microscopic fungus Sordaria macrospora, they demonstrated that the KIN3 enzyme connects different cellular signalling pathways that are involved in developmental processes. Thus, it is crucial for the sexual life cycle of the fungus. […]

  • Powerful tools to solve challenges in bio- and circular economy
    on September 4, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Researchers have developed an efficient synthetic biology toolbox for industry and research organizations. This toolbox enables, in an unprecedented way, engineering of a diverse range of yeasts and fungi. […]

  • Dectin-1-mediated pain is critical for the resolution of fungal inflammation
    on August 29, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Candidiasis is a painful infection that affects a large number of individuals, occasionally causing severe pain that is solely controlled by resolution of infection. Here, Dectin-1 inhibition was found to block pain during fungal infection. Researchers found that clodronate, a drug that is currently used for osteoporosis treatment, could suppress severe pain in fungal infection, and that the Dectin-1 pathway could be an important new target for treatment of pain. […]

  • Leaf molecules as markers for mycorrhizal associations
    on August 28, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Researchers have discovered that certain leaf metabolites can be used as markers for mycorrhizal associations. Mycorrhizal fungi facilitate the plants' nutrient uptake and help them thrive under extreme conditions. The discovery of foliar markers enables scientists to screen large amounts of plants for mycorrhizal associations without having to destroy them. This new tool could contribute to breeding more efficient and stress-tolerant crops for sustainable agriculture. […]

  • Two new truffle species discovered in Florida pecan orchards
    on August 23, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Two new species of truffles were recently discovered on the roots of pecan trees in Florida orchards. The good news is that you can eat them - the bad news is that you wouldn't want to. […]

  • Microbes hitch a ride inland on coastal fog
    on August 23, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Fog can act as a vector for microbes, transferring them long distances and introducing them into new environments. […]

  • Key factor may be missing from models that predict disease outbreaks from climate change
    on August 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    A new study suggests that computer models used to predict the spread of epidemics from climate change -- such as crop blights or disease outbreaks -- may not take into account an important factor in predicting their severity. […]