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Current Fungus News and Events, Fungus News Articles.
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Return of the zombie cicadas: WVU team unearths manipulative qualities of fungal-infected flyers
Cicadas infected with the parasitic fungus Massospora unknowingly engage in trickery with their fellow insects, resulting in effective disease transmission, according to West Virginia University-led research. Massospora manipulates male cicadas into flicking their wings like females - a mating invitation - which tempts unsuspecting male cicadas and infects them. (2020-07-27)

Research breakthrough in fight against chytrid fungus
For frogs dying of the invasive chytridiomycosis disease, the leading cause of amphibian deaths worldwide, the genes responsible for protecting them may actually be leading to their demise, according to a new study published today in the journal Molecular Ecology by University of Central Florida and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) researchers. (2020-07-23)

New research reveals antifungal symbiotic peptide in legume
Danforth Center scientists, Dilip Shah, PhD, research associate member, Siva Velivelli, PhD, postdoctoral associate, Kirk Czymmek, PhD, principal investigator and director, Advanced Bioimaging Laboratory and their collaborators at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have identified a sub class of peptides in the nodules of the legume, Medicago truncatula that proved effective in inhibiting growth of the fungus causing gray mold. (2020-07-20)

Researchers discover hybrid fungus involved in lung infections
This is the first time Aspergillus latus has been found in a hospital. The species is more drug-resistant than its two parents and highly dangerous. The researchers will now investigate the role of fungi in COVID-19. (2020-07-17)

Newly discovered pathogen in NY apples causes bitter rot disease
In a study of New York state apple orchards, Cornell University plant pathologists have identified a new fungal pathogen that causes bitter rot disease in apples. (2020-07-06)

Bread mould avoids infection by mutating its own DNA
Whilst most organisms try to stop their DNA from mutating, scientists from the UK and China have discovered that a common fungus found on bread actively mutates its own DNA as a way of fighting virus-like infections. (2020-06-22)

Fungal pathogen disables plant defense mechanism
Cabbage plants defend themselves against herbivores and pathogens by deploying a defensive mechanism called the mustard oil bomb. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology and the University of Pretoria have now been able to show that this defense is also effective against the widespread fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. However, the pathogen uses at least two different detoxification mechanisms that enable the fungus to successfully spread on plants defended in this way. (2020-06-19)

New family of enzymes reveals the Achilles' heel of fungal pathogens
Aspergillus fumigatus is a fungal species that can cause serious illnesses in immunocompromised individuals. Infections caused by A. fumigatus are difficult to eliminate because the fungus often aggregates into small communities called ''biofilms,'' which protect the pathogens from antifungal agents and help the fungus evade the immune system. GlycoNet scientists Drs. Lynne Howell and Don Sheppard recently identified a key enzyme in A. fumigatus that could lead to therapeutics to treat these fungal infections. (2020-06-17)

Newly discovered plant gene could boost phosphorus intake
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have discovered an important gene in plants that could help agricultural crops collaborate better with underground fungi -- providing them with wider root networks and helping them to absorb phosphorus. The discovery has the potential to increase agricultural efficiency and benefit the environment. (2020-06-16)

Reprogramming of immune system cures child with often-fatal fungal infection
In the June 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a team of UCLA physicians and scientists describes the first case of immune modulation being used to cure a severe and often fatal fungal infection. The team 'retuned' a 4-year-old's immune system so that it could fight off disseminated coccidioidomycosis. (2020-06-10)

Bizarre new species discovered... on Twitter
A new species of fungus has been discovered via Twitter and christened accordingly -- Troglomyces twitteri. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen are behind the discovery of this unique fungal parasite that grows around the reproductive organs of millipedes. (2020-05-15)

Research shows fungicides effective in fighting Fusarium wilt of watermelon
Fusarium wilt is one of the most economically important diseases of watermelon and a major problem to growers worldwide. In the past, watermelon growers based in the Southeastern United States were able to use methyl bromide to manage this disease, but this is no longer an option due to environmental concerns. (2020-05-14)

Verticillium wilt fungus killing millions of trees is actually an army of microorganisms
A research project studied the microbiome of olive tree roots and concluded that Verticillium wilt is fueled by a community of microorganisms that team up to attack plants, thus reassessing the way this problem is dealt with (2020-05-04)

Common soil fungus could be ally in organic corn growers' fight against pests
A common soil fungus might be enlisted as a powerful partner by corn producers to suppress pests and promote plant growth, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest promoting the fungus could be an especially valuable strategy for organic growers who struggle with insect control. (2020-04-23)

Spores, please!
Black poplar leaves infected by fungi are especially susceptible to attack by gypsy moth caterpillars. A research team at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology found that young larvae that fed on leaves covered with fungal spores grew faster and pupated earlier than those feeding only on leaf tissue. The results shed new light on the co-evolution of plants and insects, in which microorganisms play a much greater role than previously assumed. (2020-04-20)

Ash dieback is less severe in isolated ash trees
New research published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Ecology finds that ash dieback is far less severe in the isolated conditions ash is often found in, such as forests with low ash density or in open canopies like hedges, suggesting the long term impact of the disease on Europe's ash trees will be more limited than previously thought. (2020-04-16)

Self-isolation or keep calm and carry on -- the plant cell's dilemma
Self-isolation in the face of a pandemic may save lives but it comes at the expense of life-sustaining essentials such as transport, communication and connectivity. New research suggests plants must balance similar trade-offs as they respond to pathogens (2020-04-14)

Fungus application thwarts major soybean pest, study finds
The soybean cyst nematode sucks the nutrients out of soybean roots, causing more than $1 billion in soybean yield losses in the U.S. each year. A new study finds that one type of fungi can cut the nematodes' reproductive success by more than half. (2020-04-09)

Fungus-derived gene in wild wheatgrass relative confers fusarium resistance in wheat
In a wild relative of cultivated wheat, researchers have found a gene, likely delivered through horizontal gene transfer from a fungus, they show, that drives resistance to fusarium head blight (FHB) -- an intractable fungal disease devastating wheat crops worldwide. (2020-04-09)

Impulse for research on fungi
For the first time, the cells of fungi can also be analysed using a relatively simple microscopic method. Researchers from Würzburg and Cordoba present the innovation in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology. (2020-04-08)

Clemson researchers unraveling role of fungi in early childhood dental health
Clemson University researchers have conducted a study that may someday lead to better cavity prevention measures and treatments. The team examined the oral mycobiome by taking a site-specific approach -- looking at both tooth and mouth health -- which enabled them to categorize each plaque sample along a continuum. They identified 139 species of fungus that live in human dental plaque, including nine that were strongly associated with dental health. (2020-04-06)

Plant disease primarily spreads via roadsides
A precise statistical analysis reveals that on the Åland Islands a powdery mildew fungus that is a common parasite of the ribwort plantain primarily spreads via roadsides because traffic raises the spores found on roadsides efficiently into the air. (2020-04-01)

Reanalysis of global amphibian crisis study finds important flaws
Last year in the journal Science, a research review concluded that the chytrid fungus caused the decline of at least 501 amphibian species, of which 90 have gone extinct. A team of University of California, Berkeley, scientists has reanalyzed a study, finding that the paper's main conclusions lack evidence and are unreproducible. The authors argue that transparent data collection and analysis are crucial -- both for science and conservation efforts. (2020-03-20)

Predicting the impacts of white-nose syndrome in bats
Researchers have found that the pathogen levels in the environment play a major role in whether bat populations are stable or experience severe declines from white-nose syndrome. (2020-03-16)

City of Hope scientists identify first invasive case of rare mold in a cancer patient
City of Hope scientists have found a toxic fungus previously thought to not be infectious in the sinus tissues of a man with refractory acute lymphocytic leukemia. This is the first time that direct infection of a patient with the black mold Stachybotrys has been recorded. The team's findings published this week in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. (2020-03-11)

Study unravels how our immune system deals with fungal and viral infections
The body's immune response to fungal infections changes when a patient is also infected by a virus, according to new research which investigated the two types of infection together for the first time. (2020-02-27)

Double success for University drug resistance research
Swansea University research into the threat posed by antifungal drug resistance has been highlighted in two prestigious international journals. (2020-02-14)

The demise of tropical snakes, an 'invisible' outcome of biodiversity loss
That tropical amphibian populations have been crippled by the chytrid fungus is well-known, but a new study linking this loss to an 'invisible' decline of tropical snake communities suggests that the permeating impacts of the biodiversity crisis are not as apparent. (2020-02-13)

Pollinating opossums confirm decades-long theory
In Brazil there is a plant so strange that researchers predicted -- and 27 years later, proved -- that opossums are key to its pollination. The findings are published in the Ecological Society of America's journal Ecology. (2020-02-12)

Researchers look to fungus to shed light on cancer
A team of Florida State University researchers from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry found that a natural product from the fungus Fusicoccum amygdali stabilizes a family of proteins in the cell that mediate important signaling pathways involved in the pathology of cancer and neurological diseases. (2020-02-11)

The invisibility cloak of a fungus
The human immune system can easily recognize fungi because their cells are surrounded by a solid cell wall of chitin and other complex sugars. Researchers at Münster University found out that a fungal pathogen, Cryptococcus neoformans, uses an enzyme to hide from the human immune system. The study was published in the journal ''PNAS''. (2020-02-05)

Climate change affects soil health
Climate change is affecting the health of agricultural soils. Increased heat and drought make life easy for the pathogenic fungus Pythium ultimum. As an international team of researchers led by the Universities of Kassel and Bonn has shown, the fungus causes almost total crop failure in peas after a hot and dry stress event. Short-term soil recovery seems to be possible only in exceptional cases. The study has now been published in ''Applied Soil Ecology''. (2020-02-03)

Lost in translation: Organic matter cuts plant-microbe links
Soil scientists from Cornell and Rice Universities have dug around and found that although adding carbon organic matter to agricultural fields is usually advantageous, it may muddle the beneficial underground communication between legume plants and microorganisms. (2020-01-30)

Can chickpea genes save mustard seeds from blight disease?
During visits to fields in Assam, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, India, plant biologists Muthappa Senthil-Kumar and Urooj Fatima found mustard plants infested with Alternaria blight disease. They also noticed that an adjacent field of chickpeas were completely uninfected. (2020-01-29)

Can a tiny invasive snail help save Latin American coffee?
While conducting fieldwork in Puerto Rico's central mountainous region in 2016, University of Michigan ecologists noticed tiny trails of bright orange snail excrement on the undersurface of coffee leaves afflicted with coffee leaf rust, the crop's most economically important pest. (2020-01-23)

How the rice blast fungus 'eats' its own cell wall to launch an attack
In response to environmental changes and nutrient starvation, cells are known to undergo extreme alterations. This includes switching from one type to another ('differentiation') and changes in metabolic pathways ('metabolic switching'). In a new study, a research team from Tokyo University of Science showed for the first time how rice blast fungus uses its own cell wall to survive in response to certain stimuli. (2020-01-08)

Genes controlling mycorrhizal colonization discovered in soybean
Like most plants, soybeans pair up with soil fungi in a symbiotic mycorrhizal relationship. In exchange for a bit of sugar, the fungus acts as an extension of the root system to pull in more phosphorus, nitrogen, micronutrients, and water than the plant could on its own. (2020-01-06)

Bark beetles control pathogenic fungi
Pathogens can drive the evolution of social behaviour in insects. This is shown by researchers from Bern and Würzburg for ambrosia beetles. (2019-12-20)

Leafcutter ants accelerate the cutting and transport of leaves during stormy weather
A study by researchers at the University of São Paulo's Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture (ESALQ-USP) in Brazil shows that leafcutter ants are capable of predicting adverse weather by sensing changes in atmospheric pressure. (2019-12-16)

Scientists have spotted new compounds with herbicidal potential from sea fungus
Scientists of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) and the G.B. Elyakov Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry (FEB RAS) together with German colleagues spotted six new and three already known biologically active compounds in a new strain of the fungus Penicillium piltunense first time isolated. One compound has a pronounced anti-inflammatory activity, others have herbicidal potential, i.e., possibly, can become components of new chemicals for weed control. A related study is published in Marine Drugs. (2019-12-06)

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