Thank you interwebs: help proving fungi are cool

Well, am teaching three lectures this week on Fungal Diversity for BIS002C at UC Davis. And I decided tonight to ask the internet for help finding cool new stories on fungi. And boy did the internet come through in the clutch. Thanks internet. See Storification of Twitter and Facebook discussions below:

http://storify.com/phylogenomics/fungi-are-cool.js[View the story “Fungi are cool” on Storify]

Fungi are cool

Storified by Jonathan Eisen · Sun, Nov 04 2012 23:13:14

Twitter Discussion after I asked for suggestions …
Prepping 3 lectures on Fungal Diversity for Intro Bio class at #UCDavis – looking for suggestions for coolest recent fungal stories/studiesJonathan Eisen
@phylogenomics Saccharomyces eubayanus & the new world origin of lager yeast…jashapiro
@phylogenomics well, in the news, jump in fungi in metagenome studies in gulf post BP spill.Kenneth Bruno
@phylogenomics the obvious 1 is the fungal meningitis outbreakKitt Klaiss
@jashapiro reference?Jonathan Eisen
@phylogenomics This looks cool. I’m concerned that intro bio doesn’t have more micro, earlier. Is your syllabus available?Mark O. Martin
@KSBruno9 reference?Jonathan Eisen
@phylogenomics you can discuss Aspergillus around those iatrogenic fungal meningidites…Doctor_Strange
@phylogenomics And I love the whole story on fungi developing ability to degrade lignin leading to end of coal deposits.Kenneth Bruno
@phylogenomics I posted on FB, will get.Kenneth Bruno
@StrangeSource already on the listJonathan Eisen
Microbe domestication and the identification of the wild genetic stock of lager-brewing yeastAbstract Domestication of plants and animals promoted humanity’s transition from nomadic to sedentary lifestyles, demographic expansion, …
UW-Madison: University Communications: News PhotosPhotographs are available to media organizations and University of Wisconsin-Madison departments for news, editorial and public relations…
PLOS ONE: Dramatic Shifts in Benthic Microbial Eukaryote Communities following the Deepwater Horizon Oil SpillPLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific stud…
@phylogenomics I’m fond of Scott Strobel’s endophyte course and the discoveries they’re making w undergrads: http://news.yale.edu/2012/10/25/science-magazine-lauds-yale-science-discovery-courseJeramia Ory
Science Magazine lauds Yale science discovery courseAn innovative Yale science course that encourages undergraduates to discover and study plant-associated organisms has been recognized by …
@KSBruno9 heh – that is by @dr_bik … post doc in my lab …Jonathan Eisen
@phylogenomics @Dr_Bik cool, thought it was a great story. I’m from Louisiana so it was all close to home for me.Kenneth Bruno
@phylogenomics Hey, thank you! My students get taught (not by me) that bacteria are simple, don’t have cytoskeletons, no compartments, etc.Mark O. Martin
@phylogenomics @Dr_Bik Not to say that such a huge shift is necessarily a good thing…Kenneth Bruno
Biodiversity of FungiBiodiversity of Fungi is essential for anyone collecting and/or monitoring any fungi. Fascinating and beautiful, fungi are vital componen…
@phylogenomics Other thing that comes to mind is huge trend toward genome mining for secondary metabolites. Chemistry and genetics.Kenneth Bruno
World’s unique battle -Powerful Arthobortrys fungal adhesive employed to capture soil nematodenandkamat
World’s First video on soil nematode trapped by Drechslerella anchonia mycoadhesivenandkamat
@phylogenomics the responses u r getting is why twitter is cool now will spend part of today reading bout cool fungal researchSponch
May show this video by Louie Schwartzberg on fungi for #UCDavis class this week http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDkR2HIlEbc&feature=plcp (although will probably use w/o sound)Jonathan Eisen
Fantastic Fungi: The Forbidden Fruitlouieschwartzberg
@Sponch2 ain’t that the truthJonathan Eisen
@phylogenomics Here is a paleontological fungal/liverwort controversy! http://rlebling.blogspot.com/2012/06/when-funguses-ruled-earth.htmlMark O. Martin
A Strange Manuscript: When Giant Funguses Ruled the EarthAbout 400 million years ago, during the Devonian period, the world was a very strange place. Green plant life had begun to cover the land…
@phylogenomics Not totally fungal, but horizontal transfer of carotenoid production from fungi to aphids is cool. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20431015jashapiro
Lateral transfer of genes from fungi underlies carot… [Science. 2010] – PubMed – NCBIPubMed comprises more than 22 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citation…
@jashapiro already on my list to cover .. I taught about this last few years …Jonathan Eisen
@phylogenomics Great story for a diversity course…jashapiro
Fermentation Guru Seeks Out New (and Old) Flavors”Oh, this is nice kimchi,” he said on a summer afternoon at Momofuku Noodle Bar, using chopsticks to pull crimson-coated knuckles of Napa…
@DrLabRatOry @phylogenomics I know the TAs of the class. Could get you in touch for skyping them in or send you pics from the field tripsDenina Hospodsky
Natural Products Version 2.0: Connecting Genes to Molecules – Journal of the American Chemical Society (ACS Publications)Abstract Natural products have played a prominent role in the history of organic chemistry, and they continue to be important as drugs, b…
Exploiting plug-and-play synthetic biology for drug discovery and production in microorganisms : Abstract : Nature Reviews MicrobiologyOne of the most promising applications of synthetic biology is the biosynthesis of new drugs from secondary metabolites. Here, we survey …
Fasebook Discussion after I asked for suggestions …
Prepping 3 lectures… | FacebookJonathan Eisen wrote: Prepping 3 lectures on Fungal Diversity… Join Facebook to connect with Jonathan Eisen and others you may know.
I would go for toe jam–that’s always popular.Amy Propps
well, I already talked about fecal transplants a few weeks ago … I think I am going to avoid the gross/semi gross this timeJonathan Eisen
Other than the contaminated steroids?Joanne Manaster
Ooo, that’s a good one!Amy Propps
New Ancient Fungus Finding Suggests World’s Forests Were Wiped Out In Global CatastropheTiny organisms that covered the planet more than 250 million years ago appear to be a species of ancient fungus that thrived in dead wood…
Joanne – will cover the steroids w/o a doubt .. but I want MORE …Jonathan Eisen
Tut Shares Tomb with Former Fungi: Scientific American PodcastBrown stains on the walls of Tut’s tomb are fungal mats, indicating a hurried burial. Cynthia Graber reports The tomb of King Tutenkhamen…
A lot of news coming out of the UK just now about threat to ash trees from Chalara: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20128172.Neil Saunders
ooh – King Tut fungus ..Jonathan Eisen
Chalara ash dieback outbreak: Q&AThe recent confirmed cases of Chalara ash dieback means it has become the latest threat to UK trees. Within the UK’s woodlands, ash is th…
That article looks like a stub, don’t know if there’s more to it.Amy Propps
Insight into trade-off between wood decay and parasitism from the genome of a fungal forest pathogen – Olson – 2012 – New Phytologist – Wiley Online Library
It’s hard to go past the Cordyceps “zombie fungus” 🙂 Video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuKjBIBBAL8 and article – http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/03/zombifying-ant-fungus/.Neil Saunders
4 New Species of Zombifying Ant Fungus Found | Wired Science | Wired.comSee Also: Citation: “Hidden diversity behind the Zombie-Ant fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis: Four new species described from Carpenter…
Cordyceps: attack of the killer fungi – Planet Earth Attenborough BBC wildlifebbcworldwide
Bacterial-Fungal Interactions: Hyphens between Agricultural, Clinical, Environmental, and Food MicrobiologistsSummary: Bacteria and fungi can form a range of physical associations that depend on various modes of molecular communication for their d…
I think mimicry examples are cool – fungus making a pheremone http://www.pnas.org/content/104/20/8374; Gibberellin, a plant hormone, is also produced by fusarium http://www.plant-hormones.info/gibberellins.htm; Carrion smelling fungi attract flies to spread spores http://www.mapoflife.org/topics/topic_422_Mimicry-in-fungi/;Jason Stajich
Multitrophic interaction facilitates parasite-host relationship between an invasive beetle and the honey beeInternational Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, P.O. Box 30772-00100, Nairobi, Kenya; ‡Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences…
Plant Hormones GibberellinsGibberellins are diterpenes synthesized from acetyl CoA via the mevalonic acid pathway. They all have either 19 or 20 carbon units groupe…
“Mimicry in fungi” : Map of LifeMost of us are familiar with fungi in the form of mushrooms, some of which are brightly coloured and not likely to be mistaken for anythi…
Fungus + Virus = heat tolerance for thermophilic grasses http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12446900 and http://www.sciencemag.org/content/315/5811/513Jason Stajich
Thermotolerance generated by plant/fungal symbiosis. [Science. 2002] – PubMed – NCBIPubMed comprises more than 22 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citation…
A Virus in a Fungus in a Plant: Three-Way Symbiosis Required for Thermal ToleranceA mutualistic association between a fungal endophyte and a tropical panic grass allows both organisms to grow at high soil temperatures. …
It’s not new, but there’s a lot of good population biology/epidemiology on sudden oak death (Phytophthera ramorum)–especially the function of landscaping plants as vectors.If you want to use human health as a hook, you can’t go wrong with fungal sec…See MoreKen Callicott
Ken – phytophtera is not a fungus though …Jonathan Eisen
That’s right! I keep forgetting that work that showed them completely unrelated (well, you know what I mean) to the actual fungi–the curse of spending too much time around people who refer to them as water molds.Ken Callicott
look this video Jonathan Eisen….it’s amazing.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq1x5V2-3w0Felipe Gainza Cortes
BBC Planet Earth Cordyceps Fungus Finding of the holy mushroom – Diknek lorrie’sdnlscratcher
The deadly chytrid fungus: a story of an emergin… [PLoS Pathog. 2010] – PubMed – NCBIPubMed comprises more than 22 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citation…
underwater fruiting Psathyrella in Oregon discoved 3 years ago: http://2pat.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/underwater-mushroom-oregon.jpgDamon Tighe
WordPress
From a business side of things: 1) Using Oyster mushrooms to treat terrestial oil spills 2) BTTR in Emeryville that uses the left over coffee grounds to produce oyster mushrooms from whole foods etc 3) Eben Bayer’s TED talk on using mycellium to make packaging materials 4) Staments TED talk…fungus as pesticide replacement. 5) Cordyceps sinensis – Asia’s viagra, easily one of the most expensive mushrooms in the world and the hunt for them is causing major environmental problems in India the past summers.Damon Tighe
Eben Bayer: Are mushrooms the new plastic? | Video on TED.comTED Talks Product designer Eben Bayer reveals his recipe for a new, fungus- based packaging material that protects fragile stuff like fu…
Paul Stamets: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world | Video on TED.comTED
John Taylor’s recent reverse ecology study of NeurosporaMatthew Kane
Cambridge librarian finds forgotten fungus Charles Darwin brought back on the Beagle (and it was still wrapped in his newspaper)Fungi and seaweed collected by Charles Darwin on the Beagle Voyage has been uncovered wrapped in newspaper in a Cambridge University libr…
Also James Scott’s work on the angel’s share fungus http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/05/ff_angelsshare/ and for the future lawyers in the room, what happens when fungal growth can be attributed to the distillers and thus they can be sued for this as …See MoreJason Stajich
The Mystery of the Canadian Whiskey Fungus | Wired Magazine | Wired.comThe air outside a distillery warehouse smells like witch hazel and spices, with notes of candied fruit and vanilla-warm and tangy- mellow…

Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

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