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More to learn about soybean rust in the 2006 growing season
The 2005 soybean growing season provided researchers, growers, and industry representatives with valuable information for 2006, yet there is still a great deal of information needed to understand soybean rust development and management, say plant pathologists with The American Phytopathological Society (APS). (2006-01-23)

Mining for gems in the fungal genome
Ever since penicillin, a byproduct of a fungal mold, was discovered in 1929, scientists have scrutinized fungi for other breakthrough drugs. As reported Jan. 20 in the Journal of Chemistry and Biology, a team led by a University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher has developed a new method that may speed the ongoing quest for medically useful compounds in fungi. (2006-01-23)

Climate change drives widespread amphibian extinctions
Results of a new study provide the first clear proof that global warming is causing outbreaks of an infectious disease that is wiping out entire frog populations and driving many species to extinction. (2006-01-11)

Extinctions linked to climate change
A new report in Nature that links global warming to the recent extinction of dozens of amphibian species in tropical America is more evidence of a large phenomena that may affect broad regions, many animal species and ultimately humans, according to researchers at Oregon State University. (2006-01-11)

AIDS drug from sunflowers
Sunflowers can produce a substance which prevents the AIDS pathogen HIV from reproducing, at least in cell cultures. This is the result of research carried out by scientists at the University of Bonn in cooperation with the Caesar Research Center. (2006-01-09)

Study reveals classic symbiotic relationship between ants, bacteria
Ants that tend and harvest gardens of fungus have a secret weapon against the parasites that invade their crops: antibiotic-producing bacteria that the insects harbor on their bodies. (2006-01-05)

Breaking the mold: Research teams sequence three fungus genomes
From garden compost to forest greenery, the mold Aspergillus fumigatus lurks across much of the world. And so does its impact. The most common mold causing infection, A. fumigatus triggers allergic reactions, asthma attacks -- and even deadly infections among people with weakened immune systems. Now, in the December 22 issue of the journal Nature, scientists at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and their collaborators report the mold's sequenced genome, along with the genomes of two relatives. (2005-12-21)

International team of scientists complete fungal genomic sequences
An international team of scientists have determined and compared the genome sequences of three aspergilli - Aspergillus fumigatus, a potentially deadly human pathogen, A. oryzae, used in the production of soy sauce and sake, and A. nidulans, a model genetic organism. Their findings, are published in three papers in the December 22 issue of Nature. (2005-12-21)

Plants have a double line of defence
Plants are exposed to many different pathogens in the environment. Only a few of these pathogens, however, are able to attack a species of plant and (2005-11-17)

Genetic defenders protect crops from fungal disease
A handful of genetic defenders cooperate to protect Arabidopsis cells against powdery mildew disease, according to a new study from the Carnegie Institution and the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding. Powdery mildew, a common fungal infection, attacks more than 9,000 species of plants including barley, wheat, and horticultural plants such as roses and cucumbers. The discovery could help combat fungal parasites that devastate crops and cost growers billions of dollars in pesticides every year. (2005-11-17)

DNA technique measures suitability of soil for onion crops
Nematodes, such as the stem nematode, and fungi, such as white rot, are particularly harmful for onion crops in the Netherlands: they cause rot. Soil samples are investigated to detect this -- a labour-intensive and expensive operation. Together with the Laboratory for Nematology (University of Wageningen) the company Blgg has developed a molecular technique to detect the stem nematode and white rot in soil samples. (2005-11-11)

Biologists discover new pathway into plant cells
Researchers at Oregon State University have made a major discovery in basic plant biology that may set the stage for profound advances in plant genetics or biotechnology. When more research is done, this may provide a new tool to penetrate plant cells and possibly manipulate their behavior in some beneficial way - to grow faster, resist disease or increase yields. (2005-11-02)

Lack of sex could be a signpost to extinction, claim researchers
Researchers from Imperial College London believe that when species become asexual they could be on their way to extinction. (2005-10-27)

New classification of eukaryotes has implications for AIDS treatment, agriculture and beyond
The first major higher level classification of all organisms (with the exception of bacteria), coordinated by the International Society of Protistologists, overturns previously held scientific assumptions. 28 experts representing the fields of microbiology, mycology, parasitology, phycology, and protozoology contributed to this joint effort, which incorporates new data, obtained in the past 25 years, in such diverse areas as biochemistry and metabolism, electron microscopic structure, and gene sequences. (2005-10-25)

Pillows - a hot bed of fungal spores
Researchers at The University of Manchester funded by the Fungal Research Trust have discovered millions of fungal spores right under our noses - in our pillows. (2005-10-14)

Same-sex mating by fungi spawned infection outbreak, evidence suggests
Same-sex mating between two less harmful yeast strains might have spawned an outbreak of disease among otherwise healthy people and animals on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Howard Hughes Medical Institute geneticists at Duke University Medical Center have reported. (2005-10-09)

Experts develop global action plan to save amphibians facing extinction
A summit of leading scientists have agreed to an action plan intended to save hundreds of frogs, salamanders and other amphibians facing extinction from familiar threats such as pollution and habitat destruction, as well as a little-known fungus wiping out their populations. (2005-09-20)

Reforestation of burnt earth: Use truffles
Researchers at the Botany Department of the University of Navarra, Ana María de Miguel y Miriam de Román, have undertaken a study on the use of mycorrhizzae-introduced plants (colonised with the Tuber melanosporum fungus or black Perigord truffle), on surface land areas affected by fires. (2005-09-12)

JCI table of contents October 1, 2005
This press release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and author contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online September 8, 2005 in the JCI: fatty acids - good for the brain, good for Alzheimer disease; breaking into beryllium disease; a fungus among us, and how it harrasses the host; and inside the mind of a tumor-fighting molecule. (2005-09-08)

Scientists develop fungus-fighting vaccine
A group of scientists in Italy have developed a vaccine with the potential to protect against fungal pathogens that commonly infect humans, according to a study by Torosantucci and colleagues in the September 5 issue of The Journal of Experimental Medicine. Although these fungi pose little threat to people with healthy immune systems, they can cause fatal infections in those whose immune systems have been weakened by cancer treatments or post-transplant immunosuppressive therapies. (2005-09-05)

Fungus helps tall fescue choke out native plants
Research in this week's issue of PNAS reveals how some non-native fescue grass gets a leg up over competing native plants: it's passed over by plant-eating insects and animals after a symbiotic fungus laces its leaves with toxic alkaloids. In a 54-month study, scientists showed that fungus-infected 'tall fescue' tended to choke out uninfected fescue and native plant species. Tall fescue took over test plots much more quickly when herbivores weren't discouraged from foraging. (2005-08-29)

Virginia Tech experts available to speak on the possible discovery of Asian Soybean Rust spores
Virginia Tech scientists say that there has been a change in the status of the fungus causing Asian Soybean Rust but that the new information is still too preliminary for any action on the part of the Commonwealth's soybean producers. The presence of spores does not mean the infection is present. It means that the scouting for the disease will be intensified. (2005-08-22)

Temperature sensing by the circadian clock
Dr. Michael Brunner and colleagues have uncovered the molecular mechanism whereby temperature affects circadian patterns in the fungus Neurospora. (2005-08-16)

Corn fungus is nature's master blaster
Biologists have discovered that a common corn fungus is by far nature's most powerful known cannoneer, blasting its spores out with a force of 870,000 times the force of gravity. Farmers need not worry about being nailed by a fungal supergun, however. The infinitesimal spore travels only two-tenths of an inch (5 millimeters) before plummeting. (2005-07-25)

Secret sex life of killer fungus
A fungus that causes life-threatening infections in humans may be having sex, say scientists. (2005-07-13)

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute researcher receives USDA functional genomics grant
Brett Tyler, a research professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) and a Virginia Tech professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science, has been awarded a three-year, $980,000 grant from the US Department of Agriculture to identify the ways in which the plant pathogen Phytopthora sojae overcomes the defenses of its host soybean. (2005-07-12)

Secret sex life of killer fungus?
Aspergillus fumigatus is a medically important fungus, causing potentially life-threatening infections in patients with weakened immune systems. It is also a major cause of respiratory allergy, and it is implicated in asthma as well. The fungus has always been thought to lack the ability to reproduce sexually, but new discoveries by a multinational group of scientists indicate that the fungus has a number of characteristics of sex. (2005-07-11)

Purdue researchers find key to rice blast fungus
Efforts to halt a fungus that deprives about 60 million people a year of food have led Purdue University scientists to discover the molecular machinery that enables the pathogen to blast its way into rice plants. (2005-06-30)

Anti-fungal drug may help treat cancer
A drug that has been used for 40 years for the treatment of skin fungus has been found to be a possible cancer treatment, according to an international team of scientists. The results are published in today's online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2005-06-28)

Digging in the dirt for life's biochemical foundations
It seems a mighty feat for a microscopic fungus built from threadlike filaments. But collectively, these spindly mushroom relatives help move several billion tons of nutrients out of the soil and into plants each year. Now, new Michigan State University-supported research on the movement of nitrogen brings into sharper focus this underground process at the root of nearly all of Earth's food chains. (2005-06-08)

Day care settings are a significant source of indoor allergens
Researchers studying day care facilities in the South have found the facilities to be a significant source for indoor allergen levels. A new study of 89 day care settings in two central North Carolina counties found detectable levels of seven common allergens from fungus, cats, cockroaches, dogs, dust mites, and mice in each facility tested. (2005-06-01)

Experiment station researchers to explore genome of disease-fighting fungus
A team of Texas Agricultural Experiment Station scientists will soon begin genome sequencing a disease-fighting fungus used to protect crops, which has implications for both agriculture and the pharmaceutical industry. The fungus, Trichoderma virens, is used to protect field crops from various plant diseases. Researchers say the genome sequencing work may uncover chemical compounds and beneficial genes useful in producing new human and animal antibiotics. (2005-05-13)

Fungus-farming termites descend from an African rain forest Eve
Fungus-farming termites cultivate fungi as food inside their nests. Such termites can be found in both rain forest and savannah habitats in the Old World tropics, from Africa to Asia. But as researchers report this week, a combination of DNA sequence analysis and computer modelling suggests that termite agriculture originated in the African rain forest, and gave rise to the many fungus-cultivating termite species alive today in various parts of the Old World. (2005-05-09)

PNAS highlights for the week of April 25-29
This week's highlights include research on birds and colored vision; chestnuts' circadian clock; fungus and bacterial energy. (2005-04-25)

Researchers uncover sequence of major rice pathogen
In a genomics milestone, an international consortium of researchers has for the first time lifted the veil from a fungal plant pathogen by sequencing the genome - or set of all genes - of the most destructive enemy of rice: Magnaporthe grisea, the fungus that causes rice blast disease. (2005-04-21)

Same-sex mating discovered in a toxic fungus
An infectious fungus has been found to defy the most basic tenet of sexual reproduction - that successful mating requires individuals of the opposite sex, according to Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers at Duke University Medical Center. (2005-04-20)

On the hunt for deadly frog disease
A workshop on new methods of detecting and controlling the spread of one of the world's most deadly frog diseases - chytridiomycosis - will be held from 4-7 April at CSIRO Livestock Industries' Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in Geelong, Victoria. (2005-04-04)

Advances in the characterisation of the oyster mushroom genes
The oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus), apart from reducing cholesterol and having anticancerogenic properties, is characterised for its capacity for breaking down cellulose. Finding out which genes are responsible for this activity - the reason why the fungus is sometimes used as a decontaminating agent, was the aim of the PhD thesis by Arantza Eizmendi Goikoetxea, which she defended at the Public University of Navarre. (2005-03-15)

Light therapy may combat fungal infections, new evidence suggests
A newly discovered mechanism by which an infectious fungus perceives light also plays an important role in its virulence, according to Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators at Duke University Medical Center. (2005-03-14)

Discovery may lead to better Candidiasis drug
Oral biologists at the University at Buffalo have shown for the first time how histatin, the naturally occurring antifungal agent in saliva, kills the oral pathogen Candida albicans, the fungus responsible for most HIV-related oral infections. (2005-03-11)

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