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

  • Chemists characterize the fatal fungus among us
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Life-threatening fungal infections affect more than two million people worldwide. Effective antifungal medications are limited. A major challenge is that the fungal cell wall is poorly understood, which has impeded drug development. However, chemist have identified for the first time the cell wall structure of one of the most prevalent and deadly fungi, which could usher in a new era of antifungal drug development to help save lives. […]

  • Lateral gene transfer enables chemical protection of beetles against antagonistic fungi
    on July 18, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Researchers have discovered that bacteria associated to Lagria villosa beetles can produce an antifungal substance very similar to one found in tunicates living in the marine environment. The researchers revealed that this commonality is likely explained by the transfer of genes between unrelated microorganisms. […]

  • Agriculture: Quick soil test aims to determine nitrogen need
    on July 18, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    One of the essential nutrients for vigorous crop production is nitrogen. Yet most routine tests done in commercial soil testing labs do not measure available nitrogen in the soil. Soil scientists think they have found a solution. […]

  • Natural product that could lead to new class of commercial herbicide
    on July 14, 2018 at 2:01 am

    A team of engineers and scientists discovered a new and potentially highly effective type of weed killer. This finding could lead to the first new class of commercial herbicides in more than 30 years, an important outcome as weeds continue to develop resistance to current herbicide regimens. […]

  • Mechanisms of genetic diversification in major fungal pathogen of humans
    on July 9, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Candida albicans is a fungal species causing infection in humans. A team of scientists decided to sequence and analyze the genomes of 182 strains of C. albicans from around the world. They confirmed the clonal reproduction of this human pathogen but also showed that parasexual reproduction, previously only observed in a laboratory setting, contributes to the genetic diversity of C. albicans and therefore also to its ability to adapt to new environments and rid itself of deleterious mutations. […]

  • Fungi and bacteria grow on body implants
    on July 3, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    A body implant provides a new habitat for bacteria and fungi, a new study reveals. The researchers have examined a number of implants such as screws implanted in the body in connection with surgery and discovered bacteria and fungi on them -- despite the fact that the patients have shown no signs of infection. […]

  • Starving fungi could save millions of lives each year
    on June 22, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Researchers have identified a potentially new approach to treating lethal fungal infections that claim more than 1.6 million lives each year: starving the fungi of key nutrients, preventing their growth and spread. […]

  • Trojan Horse: How a killer fungus unleashes meningitis and brain infection
    on June 18, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    In a world first, researchers have revealed how a deadly fungus and primary cause of life-threatening meningitis exploits the immune system like a 'Trojan Horse' to promote infection. […]

  • Deadly behavior-modifying weapon identified in insect-world chemical arms race
    on June 7, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    New research joins the dots between zombie ants, an insect-world arms race and the search for new antibiotics. Scientists probing one of the mysteries of the insect world identified a powerful chemical weapon used in the arms race between fungus-farming leafcutter ants and the parasites that plague them. It is hoped that the findings will help scientists search for new antibiotics from this unique battlefield. […]

  • Pollution hits the fungi that nourish European trees
    on June 6, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Pollution is changing the fungi that provide mineral nutrients to tree roots, which could explain malnutrition trends in Europe's trees. […]

  • Fungi-produced pigment shows promise as semiconductor material
    on June 5, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Researchers are looking at a highly durable organic pigment, used by humans in artwork for hundreds of years, as a promising possibility as a semiconductor material. […]

  • Biosecurity reduces invasions of plant pathogens over a national border
    on May 31, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    A new study examines more than a century of fungal pathogens, finding well-aimed biosecurity measures cut the spread of unwanted fungi into a nation, even in the face of increased globalized trade. […]

  • Sniffing out real truffles
    on May 30, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    At a cost of thousands of dollars per pound, truffles are an expensive food. The fungi are prized for their distinctive aroma, and many foods claim truffles or their aromas as ingredients. But some of these foods may actually contain a much less pricey synthetic truffle compound. To help detect food fraud, researchers report that they have developed a technique that discriminates between these natural and synthetic compounds. […]

  • Climate change forced zombie ant fungi to adapt
    on May 29, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Zombie ants clamp on to aerial vegetation and hang for months spewing the spores of their parasitic fungi, but researchers noticed that they do not always clamp on to the same part of the plant. Now the researchers know that the choice of leaves or twigs is related to climate and that climate change forced the fungi to adapt to local conditions. […]

  • Genetic diversity helps protect against disease
    on May 23, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    So much for survival of the fittest -- diversity is the key: a team of researchers has succeeded in demonstrating experimentally that genetic diversity makes populations more resistant to disease. […]

  • A hidden world of communication, chemical warfare, beneath the soil
    on May 22, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    New research shows how some of these harmful microbes have to contend not just with a farmer's chemical attacks, but also with their microscopic neighbors -- and themselves turn to chemical warfare to ward off threats. […]

  • How wheat can root out the take-all fungus
    on May 22, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    In the soils of the world's cereal fields, a family tussle between related species of fungi is underway for control of the crops' roots, with food security on the line. Beneficial fungi can help plants to protect themselves from cousins eager to overwhelm the roots, but it's a closely fought battle. Working out the right conditions to support those beneficial fungi and identifying the cereal varieties that are best suited to make the most of that help is no mean task. […]

  • Resistance to antifungal drugs could lead to disease and global food shortages
    on May 17, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    Growing levels of resistance to antifungal treatments could lead to increased disease outbreaks and affect food security around the world. […]

  • Battling bubbles: How plants protect themselves from killer fungus
    on May 17, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    In the battle between plants and pathogens, molecules called small RNAs are coveted weapons used by both invaders and defenders. Researchers report how plants package and deliver the sRNAs they use to fight back against plant pathogens. The study focused on Botrytis cinerea, a fungus that causes a grey mold disease in strawberries, tomatoes, and almost all fruits, vegetables, and many flowers. […]

  • Probiotics to protect bees from an infection associated with colony collapse disorder
    on May 17, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Adding probiotics to bees' food helps make them more resistant to nosemosis, a fungal infection associated with colony collapse disorder that has been observed in Europe and North America over the past 20 years. Probiotics can decrease the mortality rate of this infection in bees by up to 40 percent, report researchers. […]

  • Fungi may help restore native plant populations
    on May 14, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Transplanting fungi to restore native plant populations in the Midwest and Northwest is a new focus of efforts by conservationists. Mycorrhizal fungi form a symbiotic relationship with many plant roots, which helps stabilize the soil, conserve water and provides a habitat for many birds and insects, said one of the authors of the new study. […]

  • Global trade spreads deadly frog disease from Asia
    on May 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    New research has revealed a deadly disease that threatens the survival of the world's frogs originated from East Asia, and global trade was almost certainly responsible for the disease's spread. […]

  • Red Sea fungus yields leads for new epilepsy drugs
    on May 9, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    New treatments for epilepsy are sorely needed because current medications don't work for many people with the disease. To find new leads, researchers have now turned to the sea -- a source of unique natural products that have been largely untapped for prospective drugs. The scientists report that two metabolites produced by a fungus from the Red Sea look promising. […]

  • Leafcutter ants' success due to more than crop selection
    on May 9, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    A complex genetic analysis has biologists re-evaluating some long-held beliefs about the way societies evolved following the invention of agriculture -- by six-legged farmers. […]

  • New evidence that bullfrogs are to blame for deadly fungus outbreaks in western US
    on May 7, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    In the 1890s, settlers crossed the Rocky Mountains seeking new opportunities -- and bearing frogs. A new study draws a link between that introduction of American bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) to the western half of the United States with the spread of a fungus deadly to amphibians. The work highlights the catastrophic results of moving animals and plants to new regions. […]

  • Plant relationships breakdown when they meet new 'fungi'
    on May 3, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Researchers explain the process of plant cooperation, in relation to their new study which has shed light on why cooperative relationships breakdown. […]

  • Study exposes key tactic used by deadly fungus
    on May 1, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Scientists have found that a lethal fungus destroys the immune cell that would ordinarily kill it, by stealing its source of nutrients. Candida albicans is a microscopic fungus commonly found in the body but which can become a dangerous infection in vulnerable hospital patients. The study demonstrated that the fungus competes with disease-fighting macrophages by rapidly consuming glucose and causing the macrophages to die. […]

  • New mechanism that causes the spread of deadly infection
    on April 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Scientists have discovered a unique mechanism that drives the spread of a deadly infection. […]

  • Spawing better ways to combat crop-killing fungus
    on April 26, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    About 21 million years ago, a fungus that causes a devastating disease in rice first became harmful to the food that nourishes roughly half the world's population, according to an international study. The findings may help lead to different ways to fight or prevent crop and plant diseases, such as new fungicides and more effective quarantines. […]

  • Identifying the use of tinder fungi among neolithic communities at la Draga
    on April 26, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Inhabitants of the Neolithic community at la Draga already used fungi to light or transport fires 7,300 years ago. The discovery represents one of the oldest examples of technological use of fungi documented until now and is the result of several archaeological interventions at the site, which have also yielded an exceptional collection of these organisms, unique in all of prehistoric Europe. […]