A non-pathogenic fungus can expand in the intestines of antibiotic-treated mice and enhance the severity of allergic airways disease, according to a study published Sept. 20 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by David Underhill of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and colleagues. The findings suggest that alterations in gut microbiota induced by intestinal fungi might be a previously unrecognized but potentially important risk of antibiotic therapy in patients with asthma and other respiratory diseases.
Since 2010, pistachio farmers from Sicily have been reporting a disease on the trees, characterised by cankers and declines, sometimes leading to the collapse of entire plants. Having surveyed 15 pistachio orchards from three provinces, as well as potted plants, an international team of researchers identified a new disease caused by a previously unknown fungus. The aetiology of the disease and the new pathogenic species are described in the open access journal MycoKeys.
A Rutgers-led team has discovered how plants harness microbes in soil to get nutrients, a process that could be exploited to boost crop growth, fight weeds and slash the use of polluting fertilizers and herbicides.
Candidiasis is a painful infection that affects a large number of individuals, occasionally causing severe pain that is solely controlled by resolution of infection. Here, Dectin-1 inhibition was found to block pain during fungal infection. Osaka University researchers found that clodronate, a drug that is currently used for osteoporosis treatment, could suppress severe pain in fungal infection, and that the Dectin-1 pathway could be an important new target for treatment of pain.
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, discovered that certain leaf metabolites can be used as markers for mycorrhizal associations. Mycorrhizal fungi facilitate the plants' nutrient uptake and help them thrive under extreme conditions. The discovery of foliar markers enables scientists to screen large amounts of plants for mycorrhizal associations without having to destroy them. This new tool could contribute to breeding more efficient and stress-tolerant crops for sustainable agriculture.
Two new species of truffles were recently discovered on the roots of pecan trees in Florida orchards. The good news is that you can eat them - the bad news is that you wouldn't want to.
Developed and tested at the University of Huddersfield, the compound, containing ruthenium, is attracted to the vulnerable cancer cells, whilst leaving healthy cells untouched.
In the first study of its kind, researchers characterized the skin microbiome of a population of free-ranging snakes to begin to understand how the animals' environmental microbial community may promote disease resistance as well as how it may be disrupted by infection.
Mushrooms from the Far East area contain the natural chemical compounds, which could be used for the design of the novel drugs with highly specific anti-tumor activities and low-toxicity. These compounds may offer new avenues for oncology, providing us with either stand-alone alternatives to chemotherapy, chemopreventive medicines, or drugs to be used in combination with other therapies.
Various fungi are known to infect insects and alter their behavior, presumably to assist in spreading fungal spores as widely as possible. But little is known about how the fungi affect behavior. UC Berkeley scientists have now found a fungus that infects the common lab fly, Drosophila melanogaster, providing a model in which to explore behavior-manipulating fungi. They found that the fungus invades the nervous system first while slowly eating the fly's fat and organs.