A new study by researchers of disease transmission in bats has broad implications for understanding hidden connections that can spread diseases between species and lead to large-scale outbreaks.
Truffles are the fruiting bodies of the ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal symbionts residing on host plant roots. In many Ascomycota and Basidiomycota lineages, truffle-forming species have evolved independently in nearly every major group. This suggests that symbiosis drives evolution of truffle diversity and selects for specific traits. As reported in Nature Ecology & Evolution, an international team sought insights into the ECM lifestyle of truffle-forming species, conducting a comparative analysis of eight Pezizomycete fungi.
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New research reveals that Aspergillus flavus, a fungus that produces carcinogenic aflatoxins that can contaminate seeds and nuts, has a multilegged partner in crime: the navel orangeworm caterpillar, which targets some of the same nut and fruit orchards afflicted by the fungus. Scientists report in the Journal of Chemical Ecology that the two pests work in concert to overcome plant defenses and resist pesticides.
Infants born at home have more diverse bacteria in their guts and feces, which may affect their developing immunity and metabolism, according to a study in Scientific Reports.
By screening a library of off-patent drugs, scientists have identified a compound with promising broad-spectrum antifungal activity. The compound, alexidine dihydrochloride, warrants further development as a pan-fungal, anti-biofilm drug, according to the research reported in the journal mSphere.
Researchers at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) report a key signaling network for alcohol fermentation in sake yeast. The discovery focuses on PP2AB55δ and how it accounts for high fermentation performance. It is expected that targeting PP2AB55δ and other molecules in its network will improve industrial output for biofuels and beverages.
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.
Aspergillus is an important fungal genus, with roles in agriculture, biotechnology, human health, enzyme production and food fermentation Reported in Nature Genetics, a team led by scientists at the Technical University of Denmark, the US Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, and the Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI), a DOE Bioenergy Research Center, present the first large analysis of an Aspergillus fungal subgroup, section Nigri.
Selfish genes are genes that are passed on to the next generation but confer no advantage on the individual as a whole, and may sometimes be harmful. Researchers at Uppsala University have, for the first time, sequenced (or charted) two selfish genes in the fungus Neurospora intermedia that cause fungal spores to kill their siblings. Unexpectedly, the genes were not related to each other, perhaps indicating that selfish genes are more common than previously thought.