Australian wine scientists are shedding scientific light on the processes underlying traditional practices of Australian Aboriginal people to produce fermented beverages. The scientists from the University of Adelaide and the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) have discovered the complex microbial communities associated with the natural fermentation of sap from the iconic Tasmanian cider gum, Eucalyptus gunnii.
"Promising" fungal leather that looks and feels like traditional leather could be eco-friendlier and cheaper than animal and plastic versions.
Recently, Mirian Pimentel, a PhD student, and a group of plant pathologists at Southern Illinois University, discovered a promising new tool to fight sudden death syndrome (SDS). They observed that several biological control agents (BCA), or beneficial fungi, were able to substantially reduce the growth of the causal pathogen agent of SDS. In some cases, these agents even overgrew the pathogen, parasitized it, and displayed evidence of "feeding" on it.
The pathogenic fungus Candida auris, which first surfaced in 2009, is proving challenging to control. It is resistant to many fungicides and not easy to diagnose. Researchers from Radboud university medical center, Canisius-Wilhelmina Hospital (CWZ) and international colleagues have discovered that the human immune system recognizes the fungus well. The study has been able to pin-point the fungus' Achilles heel for new, effective drugs. Meanwhile, the threat posed by this emerging public health pathogen should not be underestimated.
Researchers from the Nara Institute of Science and Technology and the Nara Prefecture Institute of Industrial Development have found that that a mutant strain of sake yeast produces high levels of the amino acid ornithine. Ornithine has been found to reduce fatigue and improve sleep quality, and the non-genetically modified mutant yeast strain discovered in this study could be easily applied to brewing sake, a traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage, as well as wine and beer.
Plants in the Balanophora genus have very small fruits and very little is known about their seed dispersal strategy. Associate Professor Suetsugu Kenji (Kobe University Graduate School of Science) illuminates a previously unrecognized seed dispersal mutualism between Balanophora yakushimensis and birds, which are attracted by and obtain nutrients from its fleshy bracts.
Fungal spores responsible for bitter rot disease, a common and devastating infection in fruit, do not encounter their host plants by chance. Turns out, they have a symbiotic association with the plant, often living inside its leaves. The new way of looking at the fungal pathogen, Colletotrichum fioriniae, as a leaf endophyte -- bacterial or fungal microorganisms that colonize healthy plant tissue -- was the outcome of a two-year study conducted by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Fusarium wilt is a nasty but common disease affecting economically important crops such as banana, cotton, flax, canola, melons, onions, potato and tomato. The release of the complete genome sequence is a milestone in comparative genomics studies of fungal parasites; it contributes to the global efforts aimed at elimination of plant disease outbreaks by aiding in engineering of new resistant crops varieties.
A team of scientists, led by CABI's Dr Matthew Ryan, have outlined a series of challenges and opportunities presented in a necessary review of how microbiomes - biological communities including bacteria, archaea, fungi, algae, protists and viruses - can be 'banked' and preserved for generations to come.
The system that regulates cellular calcium levels duplicated, generating two non-equivalent systems, some one billion years ago before fungi and animals diverged evolutionarily. The fungal models currently used for the study of mitochondrial calcium regulation are not adequate, as the system they possess is not equivalent to that of animals. Chytrids, a divergent group of fungi, would be the only fungi that possess a system similar to ours.