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Popular Fungus News and Current Events, Fungus News Articles.
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UGA study reveals ecosystem-level consequences of frog extinctions
Streams that once sang with the croaks, chirps and ribbits of dozens of frog species have gone silent. They're victims of a fungus that's decimating amphibian populations worldwide. (2008-10-16)

Plants cheat too: A new species of fungus-parasitizing orchid
Plants usually produce their own nutrients by using sun energy, but not all of them. A new 'cheater' species of orchid from Japan, lives off nutrients obtained via a special kind of symbiosis with fungi. The study was published in the open access journal PhytoKeys. (2016-11-03)

Mobile genetic elements that alter the function of nearby genes are detected
Raúl Castanera-Andrés, an engineer in the Agri-Food Engineering and Rural Environment Department of the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre, has worked on detecting mobile genetic elements (transposons) in basidiomycete fungi, a type of well-known fungi because they produce edible mushrooms and are active degraders of lignocellulosic waste. (2017-12-20)

Why some beetles like alcohol
Alcohol used as a 'weed killer' optimizes the harvest of ambrosia beetles. (2018-04-09)

Golf course managers challenged by fungicide-resistant turf grass disease
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 Penn State researchers. (2018-10-24)

Northern corn leaf blight genes identified in new study
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. (2018-01-11)

Managing western flower thrips
Managing Western Flower Thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on Lettuce and Green Peach Aphid and Cabbage Aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on Broccoli with Chemical Insecticides and the Entomopathogenic Fungus Beauveria bassiana (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae). (2017-08-17)

Climate change forced zombie ant fungi to adapt
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. (2018-05-29)

Fungi cause brain infection and impair memory in mice
Researchers report that the fungus Candida albicans can cross the blood-brain barrier and trigger an inflammatory response that results in the formation of granuloma-type structures and temporary mild memory impairments in mice. (2019-01-04)

Leafcutter ants' success due to more than crop selection
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. Findings from biologists at Rice University, the University of Texas at Austin and Brazil's São Paulo State University appear this week in Molecular Ecology. (2018-05-09)

The good, the bad and their fortuitous differences
Genetic differences between two very similar fungi, one that led to Quorn™, the proprietary meat substitute, and another that ranks among the world's most damaging crop pathogens, have exposed the significant features that dictate the pair's very different lifestyles, features that promise targets for controlling disease. (2018-04-20)

Monash study exposes key tactic used by deadly fungus
Associate Professor Ana Traven, in collaboration with the Naderer lab, has 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. (2018-05-01)

Stowaway fungi hitch a ride with birds to be with their plant partners
For the first time, scientists have shown that fungal hitchhikers use birds to colonize new territories with their plant partners. In a New Phytologist study, the researchers provide the first evidence that birds don't just carry plants to new places, but their fungal partners too. (2019-01-24)

Biological clock found in fungal parasite sheds more light on 'zombie ants' phenomenon
A working biological clock has been found in a fungal parasite that infects ants to control their behavior and lead them away from their nests in an effort to spread their fungal spores more effectively. (2017-11-06)

When it comes to genes, lichens embrace sharing economy
University of Colorado Boulder researchers have discovered the first known molecular evidence of obligate symbiosis in lichens, a distinctive co-evolutionary relationship that could shed new light on how and why some multicellular organisms consolidate their genomes in order to co-exist. (2018-02-08)

Novel bioactive steroid biosynthetic pathway in symbiotic fungi
Furanosteroids, represented by wortmannin and viridin, are a special group of highly-oxygenated steroids featured by a furan ring. They are well-known nanomolar-potency inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and widely used in biological studies. Here, we report the first identification of the biosynthetic gene cluster for demethoxyviridin in symbiotic fungi. Structure-activity analyses of the biosynthetic intermediates revealed that the 3-keto group, the C1β-OH, and the aromatic ring C are important for PI3K inhibition. (2018-05-21)

Fluconazole makes fungi sexually active
Under the influence of the drug fluconazole, the fungus Candida albicans can change its mode of reproduction and thus become even more resistant. Scientists at the University of Würzburg report this in the journal mBio. (2019-02-08)

Breakthrough pulls science ahead in race against devastating wheat disease
For the first time ever, scientists are gaining ground in the race against wheat stem rust, a pathogen that threatens global food security because of its ability to kill wheat. (2017-12-21)

Invasive amphibian fungus could threaten US salamander populations
A deadly fungus causing population crashes in wild European salamanders could emerge in the United States and threaten already declining amphibians here, according to a report released today by the US Geological Survey. (2016-01-20)

Toenail fungus gives up sex to infect human hosts
The fungus that causes athlete's foot and other skin and toenail infections may have lost its ability to sexually reproduce as it adapted to grow on human hosts. The discovery that this species may be asexual -- and therefore nearly identical at the genetic level -- uncovers potential vulnerabilities that researchers could exploit in designing better antifungal medications. The findings appear online in Genetics. (2018-02-22)

The macabre world of mind-controlling parasites
Many parasites can control the behavior of their hosts -- sometimes in very gruesome ways. A new article published today describes some of the sophisticated interactions between a variety of parasites and their hosts, and highlights how the new field of neuro-parasitology could provide insights into the neurological basis for behavior and decision-making. (2018-05-01)

Molecular fossils confirm Dickinsonia as one of Earth's earliest animals
By identifying specific biomarkers preserved alongside fossils of oval-shaped life forms from the Ediacaran Period, fossils from which are typically considered one of the greatest mysteries in paleontology, researchers say the ovular organism is not a fungus or protist, as some have thought, but an early animal. (2018-09-20)

When working ants take a sick day, the whole colony benefits
Scientists have shown that the social insect Lasius niger (or black garden ant) changes its behavior following exposure to a fungus, a strategy that protects the most vulnerable and important members of the colony from infection. (2018-11-22)

Plants and fungi together could slow climate change
A new global assessment shows that human impacts have greatly reduced plant-fungus symbioses, which play a key role in sequestering carbon in soils. Restoring these ecosystems could be one strategy to slow climate change. (2019-11-07)

Substance that guides ant trail is produced by symbiotic bacteria
A research with ant from genus Atta reveals that a bacteria in their microbiota plays a key role in communication among individuals and also on the colony's defense against pathogens. A Brazilian group of scientists also showed how a type of fungus participates on stingless bees' development cycle. (2018-04-09)

Soybean rust develops 'rolling' epidemics as spores travel north
Although Midwestern soybean growers have yet to experience the brunt of soybean rust, growers in the southern United States are very familiar with the disease. Every year, the fungus slowly moves northward from its winter home in southern Florida and the Gulf Coast states, and eventually reaches Illinois soybean fields -- often just before harvest. (2017-08-30)

Study reveals declining central American frog species are bouncing back
For more than 40 years, frog populations around the world have been declining. Now, a new study reports that some Central American frog species are recovering, perhaps because they have better defenses against a deadly fungal pathogen. (2018-04-11)

How did a deadly tropical fungus get to the temperate environs of the Pacific Northwest?
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 led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). 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. (2018-01-18)

Scientists poised to win the race against rust disease and beyond
In a race to prevent and control rust disease epidemics, scientists have positioned themselves to better understand how rust fungi infect crops and evolve virulence. (2018-02-20)

Single fungus amplifies Crohn's disease symptoms
A microscopic fungus called Candida tropicalis triggered gut inflammation and exacerbated symptoms of Crohn's disease, in a recent study conducted at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. (2017-06-21)

Cold-temperature variability important in evaluating climate change
New research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, highlights the importance of considering cold temperature variability, and not just warming temperatures, when evaluating the impact of climate change. (2019-02-20)

Lethal fungus that causes white-nose syndrome may have an Achilles' heel, study reveals
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. (2018-01-02)

Team finds a mechanism for the composition of liquid droplets in cells
It was big surprise in 2008 when participants in the Marine Biological Laboratory physiology course realized that simple phase separations -- like oil separating from water -- may be one important way to create order inside a cell. This week in Science, a team shows for the first time that RNA molecules recognize one another to condense into the same liquid 'droplet' in cells due to specific 3-D shapes that the molecules assume. (2018-04-12)

Boyce Thompson Institute researchers uncover new structures at plant-fungal interface
For millions of years, plants and fungi have exchanged crucial nutrients such as phosphate and fatty acids, but the mechanism by which this exchange happens has been poorly understood. Now, researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute have uncovered structural networks of tubules at the plant-fungal interface that could shed light on the mechanisms of this symbiotic partnership. Details of the study were published in Nature Plants on Feb. 8. (2019-03-04)

New family of fungi threatens a UNESCO-listed 8-century-old cathedral in Portugal
A peculiar fungus was retrieved from an artwork in the Old Cathedral of Coimbra, Portugal during a multi-disciplinary scientific survey. The organism was found to belong to the group of microcolonial black fungi, which are infamous amongst conservationists and biologists who care for historic monuments. They cause significant biodeterioration to stone monuments due to their successful adaptation to hostile environmental conditions. The findings are published in the open-access journal MycoKeys. (2019-01-28)

Analysis estimates mortality from fungal infections of ash trees
The ash dieback epidemic, caused by the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, has swept across Europe over the past 20 years and caused widespread damage and death in ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior) populations. A recent analysis of surveys of ash dieback across Europe, published in Plants, People, Planet, reveals mortality rates as high as 85 percent in plantations and 70 percent in woodlands. (2018-12-05)

Combination of resistance genes offers better protection for wheat against powdery mildew
UZH plant researchers have tested newly developed wheat lines with improved resistance in field trials. They have demonstrated that a combination of two variations of a resistance gene provides wheat with better protection against the fungal disease. (2018-01-22)

What doesn't kill you
After suffering mass mortality for years due to infection with the deadly Batrachochytrium dendrobatridis fungus, or chytrid, some frog populations in El Copé, Panama, now seem to be co-existing with the pathogen and stabilizing their populations. (2018-10-03)

Colombian frog believed extinct found alive
Researchers exploring a Colombian mountain range found surviving members of a species of Harlequin frog believed extinct due to a killer fungus wiping out amphibian populations in Central and South America. The discovery of what could be the last population of the painted frog (Atelopus ebenoides marinkellei) indicates the species has survived the fungus, providing hope that other species also might avoid elimination from the epidemic caused by a pathogenic fungus of unknown origin. (2006-05-18)

CU Boulder engineers transform brewery wastewater into energy storage
University of Colorado Boulder engineers have developed an innovative bio-manufacturing process that uses a biological organism cultivated in brewery wastewater to create the carbon-based materials needed to make energy storage cells. (2016-10-07)

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