Thursday, January 24, 2019

Little Known about Fungi Defense

A New York Times article discussed about how little is known concerning fungi's defense system. Humans are capable of sending and receiving nerve impulses and plants have the vascular system; fungi lack these processes. In a recent study, scientists gave mushrooms to nematodes who digest fungi. Unknowingly, the mushroom sensed the presence of invaders and sent signals throughout the body. Under a microscope, researchers added a dye, which exhibited genes that turned on as the signal traveled through the mushroom. Gene activation enabled the mushrooms to produce poison for the foreigner. There is sparse insight about fungi defense mechanism and some scientists predict there may be some chemical signaling distinct from animals or plants.

It is truly baffling that in this day and age with technology booming at a fast pace, there is still so many unanswered questions. Fungi are quite distinct eukaryotic cells that share a closer relation to animals than plants. Their primary role is to decompose and recycle material in the environment. I agree that further scientific investigations should continue in order to properly acknowledge how the defense system of fungi work. It is quite exciting when new information is uncovered and shows how biology evolves.    

1 comment:

  1. What a great article. I can see how you would be surprised that not much is known about the fungi defense systems. It would be interesting to find out exactly what sends out the signals out to the rest of the fungi to react in such a way towards the nematodes.This article reminded me of the time scientists discovered Acacia trees were responsible for the mysterious death of antelopes. I agree with you that more research should be done on the defense system of fungi's.