Mushrooms Ebook

Mushroom Growing 4 You

This ebook from Jake White, Certified Mushroom Grower, teaches you how to grow your own mushrooms in your backyard! Since you were a kid, you have probably been told to never eat wild mushrooms But what if you had a way to grow your own wonderful-tasting mushrooms? Wouldn't that taste so much better than bland, grocery store mushrooms? Food that you grow in your own backyard tastes so much better than food from the store. Mushrooms from the store can actually be very dangerous They are as absorbent as sponges. When farmers spray pesticides all over them, they absorb every little drop. Eating store-bought mushrooms is like buying a box full of poison. Jake White can teach you how to easily grow all of the mushrooms that you want, of any kind! Learn how to grow amazing tasting mushrooms that do not have any of the bad drugs on them that store bought ones will! More here...

Mushroom Growing 4 You Summary


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Highly Recommended

Recently several visitors of websites have asked me about this book, which is being promoted quite widely across the Internet. So I bought a copy myself to figure out what all the publicity was about.

All the modules inside this e-book are very detailed and explanatory, there is nothing as comprehensive as this guide.

The Mushroom Bodies of the Honeybee Brain

The mushroom bodies of the honeybee brain are bilateral three-lobed structures located in the protocerebrum. Each mushroom body consists of about 170,000 neurons, called Kenyon cells, and their projections. The cell bodies of the Kenyon cells are located around the mushroom body calyces, and the rest of the mushroom body consists of a dense neuropil of projections from, and afferent inputs to, the Kenyon cells (see box 3.1 for a glossary of italicized terms). In honeybees, the mushroom bodies receive olfactory afferents from the antennal lobes, visual afferents from the optic lobes, and multimodal input from a variety of other brain areas (Heisenberg 1998 Strausfeld et al. 1998). After examining the firing patterns of individual neurons, Erber et al. (1987) were able to propose several functions for the mushroom bodies, including detection of stimulus combinations, detection of temporal patterns between events, and detection of stimulus sequences. The mushroom bodies are promising...

The Mushroom Bodies as a Locus for Memory

Although CS and US information converges at both the antennal lobes and the mushroom body calyces, the mushroom bodies appear to be especially important in conditioning, and direct evidence confirms this (Hammer and Menzel 1995). Cooling the calyces of the mushroom bodies produces amnesia similar to that produced by cooling the whole animal (Erber et al. 1980). Mutations resulting in abnormal mushroom body structure cause a loss of conditioning to odors (Heisenberg et al. 1985), and so does destruction of the mushroom bodies (de Belle and Heisenberg 1994). Associative learning of any kind requires a point of neural convergence between conditioned and unconditioned stimuli. Neurobiological studies of associative learning have begun to describe what occurs at these points of convergence. An important concept introduced by Donald Hebb (1949, 62) serves as a guide for this research When an axon of cell A is near enough to excite a cell B and repeatedly or persistently takes part in firing...

The value of woodlands and forests

Urban dwellers benefit tremendously from forests. Global trade in primary forest products such as logs, sawn wood, panels, pulp and paper reached nearly 273 billion in 1997. It is not just timber a large number of fruits and spices we use come from trees and woodland plants. Wild forests are still a valuable source of some of these. For example, almost all the Brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa) we eat (around 40 000 tonnes a year - Mori and Prance, 1990) are still collected in the wild (see Section 6.3.4 also). Forest plantations can also be a rich source of edible fungi Chilean radiata pine plantations are already exploited in this way. At least 46 types of mushroom and nine types of truffle grow in forests and are potentially a most valuable food source. Wooded areas also have a large part to play in global carbon storage and sequestration (see Chapter 11).

Mycorrhizal Structure And Function

Ectomycorrhiza (ECM) are significantly different in physiology and ecology. These are principally Basidiomycetes and proliferate between cells, not inside them as is the case for AM. An obvious morphological alteration occurs with formation of the mantle and Hartig net (a combination of epidermal cells and ECM fungal tissues) on the exterior of the root (see Fig. 2.4 b ). ECM send hyphae out several meters into the surrounding soil. The hyphae aid in nutrient uptake, including inorganic and some organic nitrogen-phosphorus compounds (Read, 1991). The hyphae constitute a significant proportion of carbon allocated to below-ground NPP in coniferous forests (Vogt et al., 1982). The reproductive structures of ECM are the often-observed mushrooms in oak or pine forests. ECM will form resting stages, or sclerotia cordlike bundles of hyphae that can persist for years. ECM, unlike AM, often can be cultured apart from their host plants. Some ECM may have considerable decomposing capabilities...

Zygomycetes phylum Archemycota Zygomycetes and Zoomycetes

The Zygomycetes and Zoomycetes consist of hyphal species that lack a ciliated stage, as well as centrioles and sporocarp. Hyphae contain mitochondria and peroxisomes, but the Golgi cisternae are unstacked. The Zygomycetes include mostly saprotrophs which produce zygospores and aerial asexual spores on stalked sporophores (Table 1.4). The better known species belong to the Mucorales (Zygomycetes) which are ubiquitous in soils and on herbivore excreta, fruit and decomposing mushrooms (aerial reproductive structures of higher fungi). The mucors are early colonizers of substrates that depend on the more soluble substrates such as sugars and amino acids. Species tend to lack digestive enzymes for substrates such as cellulose and chitin that are more difficult to break down. Some species are parasites of other Mucorales and unculturable without the host. Spores are stimulated to germinate by moisture, ade

Native Diseases and insects That impact Oaks

It is important to clarify several terms at this point, to avoid confusion in the terminology used to describe tree disease. Disease can be defined in many ways, but it is perhaps best understood as the interaction between a suscept (or host) and some agent, resulting in a sustained impairment of function, structure, or form of the suscept (Tainter and Baker 1996). Diseases caused by biotic agents (fungi, bacteria, viruses, etc.) are termed infectious, and the causes are referred to as pathogens. Those caused by abiotic agents (chemical or physical environmental factors) are termed noninfectious. Visible expressions of the disease interaction in the suscept (such as branch dieback, stem swellings, foliage yellowing or decay) are called symptoms, while macroscopic physical manifestations of the pathogen (such as mushrooms or other repro-80

Basidiomycetes phylum Basidiomycota

Monly known as the smuts and rusts which parasitize aerial tissues of plants. Growing hyphae of Basidiomycetes are often dikaryotic, with nuclei from two complementary mating types existing in the same hypha. After nuclear divisions and cell wall formation (septa), a clamp connection may form to redistribute the nuclei (Fig. 1.21). The clamp connection allows the passage of one nucleus to the new cell over the septa to maintain the dikaryotic state. It is noteworthy that there are species where clamp connections are unknown or where they occur only under certain growth conditions. Hyphae of filamentous Basidiomycetes (as those of Ascomycetes) generally vary in size from 3 to 10 m. Typical Basidiomycetes include those commonly known as the agarics such as the common cultivated Agaricus (and related fungi such as Boletus, Coprinus and Laccaria), bird's nest fungi, bracket fungi, coral fungi, the jelly fungi, puff-balls and stink-horns. The Poriales (Lentinus, Coriolus, Fomes and...

The importance of waste

Club Mosses and Ferns) used more lignin in their structure than later woody plants (Robinson, 1990). The key members of the modern lignin degrading guild are fungi, particularly Basidiomyetes, many of which produce the familiar 'mushroom' fruiting bodies. These 'white rot' fungi break down both lignin and cellulose, their food source is the cellulose, however, they need to break down the lignin enzymatically to get at it (Fig. 3.2). This process leaves the remaining wood looking 'stringy, bleached and soft' (Spooner and Roberts, 2005). Had lignin consuming organisms not evolved this could have proved problematic for abundant life on Earth, with increasing amounts of resources entombed in organic deposits and unavailable to life. While simple microbial systems may be able to continue in such conditions, it is difficult to see how an active and complex biosphere could be supported with such a lack of recycling.

Lasting Changes in Neurons

Of learning in birds, mammals, and the sea slug Aplysia implicate protein kinase C (PKC), for example, in changes at the synapse, also known as synaptic plasticity (Micheau and Riedel 1999). Elevation of intracellular Ca2+ increases PKC activity. In the honeybee, PKC occurs in both the mushroom bodies and antennal lobes (Granbaum and Muller 1998 Hammer and Menzel 1995), but its role in conditioning of the proboscis extension response remains unclear. Repeated proboscis extension conditioning trials increase PKC in the antennal lobes, beginning 1 hour after conditioning and continuing for up to 3 days. Blocking PKC activation, however, does not affect initial acquisition of the PER (Grunbaum and Muller 1998). Elevation of intracellular Ca2+ may also act through other Ca2+-dependent kinases, such as Ca2+ calmodulin-dependent kinase IV (CaMKIV). Activation of this kinase by Ca2+ may be an important mechanism underlying long-term memory (see below). As noted earlier, elevated cAMP levels...

Converting the Memory Trace to the Engram

In summary, high levels ofPKA activity in the honeybee mushroom body are caused by an elevated level of cAMP, which results from the convergence of CS odor and US sucrose signals in Kenyon cells. Protein kinase A then activates CREB. CREB, in turn, modulates the activity of particular genes. A Ca2+-dependent mechanism can also increase CREB binding and gene expression. CS- and US-induced activity converge at PKA (because Ca2+

Mutualistic Interactions

Bacteria that detoxify fungal cell membrane disrupting compounds produced by bacterial pathogens of fruit bodies (see above) may also be considered as mutualists of basidiomycetes. Tsukamoto et al. (2002) isolated several tolaasin-detoxifying strains from wild Agaricales. Perhaps the presence of tolaasin-detoxifying strains on wild mushrooms explains why P. tolaasii is much more frequently isolated from cultivated mushrooms than from wild ones (Bessette, 1984). More detailed investigations are needed to understand the nutritional requirements of the antagonists of P. tolaasii. If they are preferentially selected by the fungus, for example via a resistance to antibacterial compounds and are growing on fungal exudates, this would be true mutualism. Fruit body formation of several edible mushrooms is dependent on the presence of certain bacteria (Rainey et al., 1990 Cho et al., 2003). Evidence has been presented that this is due to the removal of fungal autoinhibitors by bacteria (Noble...

Microbes As Direct Food Sources

It is extremely difficult to characterize the degree to which microbes are used as food. Ingested microbes may be digested, take up temporary residence, or pass through many live as commensals and symbionts. Studies of cockroaches as disease vectors indicate that some bacteria fed to cockroaches are passed with feces, while others could not be recovered even if billions were repeatedly ingested (Roth and Willis, 1957). A mushroom certainly qualifies as food, but so does any microbe that dies within the digestive system, releasing its nutrients to be assimilated by the cockroach host, other microbes resident in the gut, or a coprophage feeding on a subsequent fecal pellet. We do not know the degree to which cockroaches feeding on dead plant material handle the substrate microbe package in bulk (the gourmand strategy) versus pick through the detrital community, ingesting only the relatively rich microbial biomass (the gourmet strategy). If the latter, they are not detritivores, because...

Learningrelated individuality

Does early experience shape the brain, as some studies on humans suggest (Elbert et al. 1995). The mushroom bodies, a prominent structure in the insect brain, are essential in memory formation (Menzel, this volume). Interestingly, the size of the mushroom bodies in honeybees is correlated not only with age, but also with type of activity. Durst et al. (1994) showed that foragers have larger mushroom-body volumes than nurse bees of the same age, concluding that mushroom-body size is experience-dependent. The rationale was that more information storage requires more neural substrate (e.g more neurons or dendritic proliferations). However, it was not clear whether the mushroom bodies increase in size as a result of experience, or whether the increased mushroom-body volume is a prerequisite in honeybees to switch from nursing to foraging activities. To resolve this problem, Fahrbach et al. (1998) reared honeybees in an extremely deprived environment (social isolation and complete...

Phenolics and Other Aromatic Compounds

Several mushrooms produce chlorinated phenolic compounds which often exhibit antimicrobial properties (Figure 1). For example, 2-chloro-4-nitrophenol (4) from the carrot truffle (Stephanospora caroticolor, Figure 2) is released from the storage precursor stephanosporin (1) after tissue wounding and serves the gasteromycete as an effective fungicide. Interestingly, 2-chloro-4-nitrophenol (4) has been used previously for leather conservation and seed protection. Another aromatic chloro derivative pterulinic acid (6) isolated from a mycelial culture of a Pterula species exhibits antifungal properties by acting as inhibitor of the NADH ubiquinone oxidoreductase. 4-Chloro-3-methoxybenzaldehyde (5) isolated from cultures of Lepista diemii has antibacterial potential that may help the mushroom deter unwanted microorganisms from its surrounding.

Box 71 Fungal diversity

Fungi are divided into the macro- and microfungi, the main difference being the size of the fruiting body. Macrofungi produce the familiar mushrooms while microfungi produce fruiting bodies hard to see with the naked eye and include such organisms as moulds, mildews, and many diseases such as rusts and smuts, including the many Phytophthora species (see Section 5.4.4) and the chestnut blight, Cryphonectria parasitica (Section 5.4.6).

Education Careers and Callings

One of our charges was to consider the adequacy of financial support for various fellowship programs. But funding in institutions with billion-dollar endowments is seldom a problem . . . for the things that are valued in such places. The problem is that many essentials of the long-term health of the world in which our students will live are seldom high on the priority list of institutions of higher education. As a result, many facets of a long-term perspective go begging, while parking decks, athletic facilities, and administrators flourish like mushrooms after a spring rain. What often appears as a funding problem is first and foremost a problem of values and priorities, and alert students are aware of the difference.

The Definition of Eco Field

Perception and utilization of a tree in an urban park can be different for squirrel, lizards, birds, or mushrooms. A tree is a patch for these species but alternatively becomes an individual and its Wohnhulle (von Uexkull 1982 (1940), 1992 (1934)) requires light, water, and nutrients.

Socioeconomic Feature

There is a notable variation in the number of dogs between villages. Luapa has the most (+300), with one individual owning as many as 15 dogs, and other villages having < 100. Dogs are essential in the hunt. During data analysis, we used this as an indicator of who is doing the most hunting. Hunting is performed either alone or in the community group with (in rank order of preference) 1) black-fronted duiker (unanimously the preferred meat) 2) blue duiker 3) bay duiker 4) red river hog 5) yellow-backed duiker and 6) generic monkeys, as the species generally targeted. Iyaelima hunting technology is limited to dogs, spears, and bows and arrows for individual hunts, and nets are added during the village hunts. In the mid-1990s, the government confiscated all firearms from the civilian population, leaving only traditional technology for hunting. Village hunts are called once every 1-2 weeks during the dry season. Hunting for domestic consumption is the principal occupation of the men...

Summary similarities and differences

It is clear that Drosophila in natural populations is subject to attack from a range of parasites and pathogens. Of the macro-parasites, parasitoids are common and widespread, and D. melanogaster will often have to face parasitoid attack. Abundance data on mites are known from one species of Drosophila, but how often other species, especially D. mela-nogaster, are subject to mite attack is unclear at present. Nematode parasitism is relatively common in quinaria and testacea group species on mushrooms, but data on rates of parasitism on fermenting fruits are much more scarce no records exist of D. mela-nogaster parasitized by nematodes in the field.

Nuclear Weapons Tests as a Source

Significant amounts of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons took place from 1945 to 1980. The first nuclear weapons test, TRINITY, was conducted on a steel tower at Alamogordo in the south-central New Mexico on 16 July 1945. The nuclear explosion creates a radioactive cloud that usually takes the form of a huge mushroom. Explosion converts a small atomic mass into an enormous amount of energy through nuclear fission or fusion. Fission releases energy by splitting uranium or plutonium atoms into radioactive elements. Fusion, triggered by a fission explosion that forces tritium or deuterium atoms to combine into larger atoms, produces more powerful explosive yields than fission. The nuclear weapons test resulted in the release of substantial quantities of radioactive debris to the environment. The debris spread over large areas downwind of test sites, depending on the heights of bursts, the

Herbivorous mammals and birds

Rainforest Herbivores

Reindeer Rangifer tarandus are the only deer to have been truly tamed by humans, and are unusual in that both sexes have antlers. Although they have only recently been introduced into North America, there are several domesticated races in northern Europe. Within the Arctic Circle they are used in much the same way as cattle are further south. The caribou of North America is so similar that it is now placed in the same species, though it has never been tamed. Many caribou spend their lives on the vast treeless arctic tundra, while others are found mainly in the taiga (northern boreal forest). They gather in late winter in groups of 10 000-100 000 before the spring migration. In winter they feed mainly on lichens, in summer they have a much wider diet and consume mushrooms, fruit, green plants, twigs of trees and even discarded antlers.

Effects On Invertebrate Behaviour

Decomposed by them and extractives from such wood are often attractive to termites, and VOCs can stimulate termites to eat more sound wood and build more galleries. White-rot fungi and white-rotted wood are often unattractive and even toxic to termites, though P. ostreatus was attractive. White-rot fungal mycelia are, however, attractive to other arthropods. For example, fungus gnats (Bradysia Sciaridae) are highly attracted to and oviposit in interaction zones of mating incompatible mycelia of Stereum spp. and Phlebia spp. (Boddy et al., 1983 Figure 2a). Collembola are also attracted to and preferentially graze in interaction zones between mycelia growing from woody resources into soil (Figure 2b). These regions are presumably more palatable and leak nutrients, and VOCs are upregulated (Hynes et al., 2007). Sciarids and phorids (Diptera) are attracted to the mycelium and compost of cultivated mushrooms (Agaricus species Grove and Blight, 1983 Tibbles et al., 2005). There were,...

Where Is Foraging Theory

Recent advances in neurobiology offer the promise of meaningful connections between neural mechanisms and naturally occurring foraging behavior. For example, worker honeybees undergo a well-defined progression from nurse to forager as they age. An impressive body of work now suggests that the worker's brain become modified for foraging as this sequence progresses. Particularly, the mushroom bodies (a structure crudely comparable to the vertebrate hippocampus) enlarge as the workers develop into foragers, and this structure appears to serve both the spatial abilities that foragers need to find and collect resources, and the abilities of foragers to form associations. The star-nosed mole provides an example of how foraging models can inform neurobiology. The 'star' is a 22-lobed sensory structure covered with roughly 25 000 receptors and served by 100 000 nerve fibers, supported by a nearly literal 'map' in the mole's brain. Why has this spectacular structure evolved and why don't other...

Food Chains and Food Webs

The detrital food chain is the major pathway of energy flow because grazers utilize so little of the net production. Millipedes, snails, mushrooms, cave crickets, maggots, slugs and most of the oozes (although some can be quite predatory) are all examples of detrital chain organisms. They play an important, if somewhat disgusting, role in the maintenance of a healthy ecosystem. Everything that's not eaten by herbivorous grazers eventually ends up as fodder in the detrital chain. We're all food for the worms.

Reduced Material Usage Per Product Unit

Using wrenches, screwdrivers, nails, and other hardware available in loose bins. Purchasing grocery items, such as tomatoes, garlic, and mushrooms, unpackaged rather than prepackaged containers. Using large or economy-size items of household products that are used frequently, such as laundry soap, shampoo, baking soda, pet foods, and cat litter. Choosing the largest size of food items that can be used before spoiling.

Well Location And Number

Slope Grout Away From Casing or Riser To Prevent Infliltration, But Do Not Create a Mushroom For Grout Which Will Be Subject To Frost Heave Slope Grout Away From Casing or Riser To Prevent Infliltration, But Do Not Create a Mushroom For Grout Which Will Be Subject To Frost Heave

Plant Phenolics as Antioxidants

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) produces a flavonoid complex known as silymarin silybin, the most abundant and bioactive component, has strong antioxidant properties. It has been reported to reduce liver damage caused by ingesting the death cap mushroom (Amanita phalloides), possibly by competitively binding to membrane receptors that otherwise would be available to the fungal toxins, amanititin and phalloidin.

History and Scope

Encarsia formosa and the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot make up most of the sales. Natural enemy releases are used in greenhouses, plant conservatories, mushroom houses, and animal holding buildings such as dairies, hog rearing facilities, poultry barns, and zoos.

Fruit Body Survival

And the remnants of the lysed cells aggregated around and between the remaining living hyphal cells. Most of the stem hyphae became empty cylinders. After 36 days, electron microscopy showed that most of the cells throughout the fruit body were severely degenerated and malformed, yet a number of basidia and subhymenial cells remained intact and alive even at 36 days. Interestingly, when mushrooms were cultivated using conventional commercial farming procedures, 50 of the fruit bodies were infected by Trichoderma harzianum and or Pseudomonas tolaasi by 18 days. All such fruit bodies died at 24 days due to generalised severe bacterial and fungal infections leading to tissue necrosis and decay of the caps and stems.

The US Pathway

The unconditioned response ofextending the proboscis in response to sucrose begins with sucrose receptors on the proboscis that send projections to the subesophageal ganglion (Rehder 1989). In the subesophageal ganglion, a group of ventral unpaired median (VUM) neurons receive input from the sucrose receptors. One of these neurons, the VUMmx1, responds to sucrose with a long burst of firing that outlasts the actual sucrose US presentation (Hammer 1993). Axons of the VUMmx1 neuron converge with the CS pathway at three different sites the antennal lobe, the lateral protocerebral lobe, and the lip and basal ring of the mushroom body calyces (see fig. 3.1). There are thus several sites where information about the odor CS and the sucrose US converge. neuron, the mushroom body calyces and the antennal lobe, result in classical conditioning of the PER when the odor CS is paired with octopamine (Hammer and Menzel 1998). When octopamine and other biogenic amines are depleted by treatment with...

Cellular Mechanisms

Within the mushroom bodies, the Kenyon cells are the site of CS and US convergence. Exposing cultured Kenyon cells to acetylcholine (the neuro-transmitter conveying the CS signal from the antennal lobes) activates an ion current in these cells that has a high proportion ofcalcium ions (Ca2+ Menzel and Muller 1996). This means that in the intact animal, olfactory stimulation of the antennal lobes, which causes release of acetylcholine, increases the concentration of Ca2+ within Kenyon cells (fig. 3.2A). Octopamine, the US neurotransmitter, also leads to changes within mushroom body neurons (fig. 3.2B). Octopamine release and the subsequent activation ofthe octopamine receptor stimulate adenylate cyclase activity within Kenyon cells (Hildebrandt and Muller 1995a Evans and Robb 1993). The enzyme adenylate cyclase converts ATP into cyclic AMP (cAMP) cAMP then has a number of intracellular effects, including activation ofprotein kinases, especially protein kinase A (PKA). In addition to...


Take the fallen tree in the forest from above. When it falls, say from a windstorm, it is a ready source of shelter and nutrients. The first to exploit it is the bark and wood-boring insects that feed upon the inner bark and cambium. This results in a lot of the bark falling off. Within the wood, beetles or ants dig tunnels and gouge chambers to support their mushroom farms. The wood becomes moister as decay proceeds, though the most accessible nutrients are already depleted, leaving harder stuff behind. Fungi take over because they possess more complex

The Hippocampus

Just a few, have at one time or another been attributed to the vertebrate hippocampus. In fact, a number of authors have pointed out the functional similarities between the vertebrate hippocampus and the insect mushroom bodies (Capaldi et al. 1999 Waddell and Quinn 2001). As Waddell and Quinn put it, Both systems show elegantly regular, only slightly scrutable anatomical organization and appear suited to deal with complex, multimodal assemblies of information (2001, 1298). In most mammals, the hippocampus, which is part of the limbic system, is an arch-shaped structure deep within the brain. In humans and primates, however, the arch is straightened into an elongated structure that lies entirely within the temporal lobe. In birds, the hippocampus lies at the dorsal surface of the brain along the midline between the hemispheres, the position also occupied by the evolutionarily homologous structure in reptiles, the dorsomedial forebrain. The hippocampus receives input from most sensory...


Figure 10.19 Phylogenetic tree indicating evolutionary branching and distance between groups based on on rRNA analysis. Fungi are represented by Coprinus (a mushroom), plants by Zea (corn), and animals by Homo (humans). (From Atlas, 1997 all rights reserved.) Figure 10.19 Phylogenetic tree indicating evolutionary branching and distance between groups based on on rRNA analysis. Fungi are represented by Coprinus (a mushroom), plants by Zea (corn), and animals by Homo (humans). (From Atlas, 1997 all rights reserved.)

Funguslike Protists

The Basidiomycota differ from Ascomycota primarily by production of sexual spores (basidiospores) outside the basidium, the cell in which meiosis takes place. Approximately 30,000 species are known. The Basidiomycota may be divided into the subphyla Ustilaginomycotina (smuts), Urediniomycotina (rusts), and Hymeno-mycotina, the latter divided into the Classes Heterobasidiomycetes ( jelly fungi) and Homobasidiomycetes (mushrooms and relatives) (modified from Kirk et al., 2001, and McLaughlin and McLaughlin, 2001). Only the last group is important in soil, although various stages of the life cycles of smuts and jelly fungi may occur in soil and be important to their survival. The Homobasidiomycetes, with approximately 13,000 described species, include gilled mushrooms, boletes, polypores, coral fungi, stinkhorns, and crust fungi, many with their mycelial phase occurring in soil (Hibbett and Thorn, 2001). This great diversity has mostly been overlooked in surveys of soil fungi. Within the...


Although foraging models usually refrain from any commitment to specific causal mechanisms, it is generally recognized that learning, memory, perception, and other cognitive processes play a crucial role in foraging. One of the simplest forms of animal learning, classical conditioning, enables foragers to learn about environmental cues that predict the presence of food. The neural basis of classical conditioning has been examined in the honeybee. Neural pathways convey information from odor and sucrose receptors to the mushroom bodies ofthe honeybee brain. Intracellular second messenger systems respond to the co-occurrence of odor and sucrose signals, initiate gene transcription, and cause the long-lasting changes in neurons that are the basis of associative learning. The vertebrate hippocampus has been implicated in many ofthe cognitive processes that are essential to foraging. Neurophysio-logical and comparative research has addressed the role of the hippocampus in spatial...

Fungi as Food

Among the more selective feeders are species like Par-coblatta, which include mushrooms in their diet (Table 4.1), and Lamproblatta albipalpus, observed grazing on mycelia covering the surface of rotten wood and dead leaves (Gautier and Deleporte, 1986). The live and dead plant roots used as food by the desert cockroach Areni-vaga investigata are sheathed in mycorrhizae, and numerous fungal hyphae can be found in the crop (Hawke and Farley, 1973). Shelfordina orchidae eats pollen, fungal hy-

Forest fungi

Fungi resemble animals in having heterotrophic nutrition. Unlike the autotrophs, which fix their own energy by photosynthesis (green plants) or chemosynthesis (certain colourless bacteria), fungi are dependent on living or dead organic matter for their sustenance. Saprotrophs obtain their energy from dead organic matter, which they digest. Many are completely harmless and some are edible, like the ubiquitous field mushroom Agaricus campestris, but others cause a great deal of damage such as the dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans which establishes in damp timbers and then uses its mycelial strands, which can transmit water and nutrients, to invade drier parts of a building. Parasites, on the other hand, attack living organisms. Fungal parasites such as those causing Dutch elm disease (DED, see Section 5.4.5) and chestnut blight (see Section 5.4.6) have caused very serious damage to tree populations and have become increasingly difficult to control with the development of global trade. As...

Other Agents

Fungi Several types of fungi can cause food poisoning. Some wild mushrooms are themselves highly poisonous, but may be mistaken for edible varieties by inexperienced pickers. On the other hand, growth of fungi within a food material can produce toxins. Ergotism, as described in Section 10.7.4, for example, is caused by the neurotoxins produced by the ascomycete Claviceps purpurea in infected cereal grains (especially, rye). Similarly, the aflatoxins produced by some strains of Aspergillus, particularly during growth on stored grains and peanuts, are potential carcinogens (cancer-causing agents). However, infection by ingested fungi is rare.


Figure 1 Examples for aromatic defense compounds of mushrooms. Figure 1 Examples for aromatic defense compounds of mushrooms. For instance, sesquiterpenoids such as velleral (13) and isovelleral (14) are present in a variety of Russula species and milk caps such as Lactarius vellereus and are responsible for their pungent taste. In the mushrooms, the precursor of velleral (13) and isovelleral (14) is stored in form of the stable stearoylvelutinal (11). Wounding of the tissue results in rapid enzymatic cleavage of this ester to the highly instable hemiacetal velutinal (12) which suffers ring opening to isovelleral (14) and rearrangement to velleral (13). Interestingly, the ratio of 13 and 14 generated upon injury of velleral isovelleral-producing mushrooms differs characteristically from species to species. The highly reactive dialdehyde moiety of velleral (13) and isovelleral (14) readily reacts with basic amines such as lysyl residues of proteins forming stable pyrrol derivatives,...

The Variety of Life

Imagine walking through a forest ecosystem like the one shown in Figure 1. Trees, shrubs, and small plants are everywhere. You see and hear squirrels, birds, and insects. You might notice a snake or mushrooms. Hundreds of species live in this forest. Now, imagine walking through a wheat field. You see only a few species wheat plants, insects, and weeds. The forest contains more species than the wheat field does. The forest has a higher biological diversity, or biodiversity. Biodiversity refers to the variety of life in an ecosystem.

Box 123

White rot fungi are the most active lignin degraders. Several thousand species of white rots are known mainly from the basidiomycetes and ascomycetes. The basidiomycetes most studied are Phanerochataete chrysosprium and Coriolus versicolor. Pleurotus ostreatus, the oyster mushroom, and Lintinula edodes, the shiitake mushroom, are wood decay fungi that are grown commercially for food. Ascomycetes include Xylaria, Libertella, and Hypoxylon. They produce lignolytic


A modification of this mechanism occurs in the Oomycetes (chromista) Myzocitium, where the dispersal ciliated cells encyst in the soil and become sticky. Attachment on to the cuticle of a passing prey is the stimulus to extend hyphae into the prey. In Haptoglossa, the cyst discharges a coiled tube into the passing prey. The coil is 5-8 im long and 0.5 im wide, and discharged in about 0.1 s. No infection occurs if the coil is discharged into a cuticle which is too thick to traverse. In Zygomycetes, such as Meristacrum, at the end of the growth phase in the prey, some mycelia extend out of the cuticle and form adhesive conidia spores, which are then picked up by passing prey. Some of the spores remain inside the old cuticle. The Basidiomycetes Nematoctonus also form adhesive conidia spores which then attach to the cuticle of a new prey. The protoplasm migrates out of the hyphae inside the prey and accumulates in conidia bearing branches outside the prey. Several mitosporic species form...


Several species of nematodes are obligate parasites of Drosophila. Species of the quinaria and testacea groups feeding on decaying mushrooms are primarily attacked by nematodes in the genus Howardula, whereas species of the obscura group feeding on fermenting fruits are attacked by Parasitylenchus diplogenus (Welch, 1959 Montague and Jaenike, 1985 Jaenike, 1992). Parasitism starts with a single free-living worm entering a Drosophila larva, which is then followed by the production of one or two generations in the fly as it reaches adulthood. The worms then leave the fly abdomen in search of new host larvae to parasitize (Welch, 1959). In the case of Parasitylenchus, the abdomen of an infected fly can contain thousands of worms (A.R. Kraaijeveld, personal observation).

Lethal Spine

A piece of coral is the skeletal remains of microscopic animals. These animals are tubular polyps less than 0.3 inches (5 mm) in diameter. They affix themselves to a substrate by means of a hard basal disk. Each polyp has an opening that is connected to a gastric cavity that secretes the calcium carbonate substance that forms the reef. Coral can take many shapes it can resemble such objects as trees, mushrooms, and flowers.

The CS Pathway

In honeybees, odors activate chemoreceptors on each antenna, which relay signals to the antennal lobes, where odor characteristics are neurally encoded (Lachnit et al. 2004 Flanagan and Mercer 1989) (fig. 3.1). The projection neurons of the antennal lobe form three main tracts, one of which innervates the calyces ofthe mushroom bodies. This projection from the antennal lobe to the mushroom bodies serves as the CS pathway for conditioning ofthe proboscis extension response (PER). Menzel and Miiller (1996) suggest that acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter in the CS pathway from the antennal lobes to the mushroom bodies because acetylcholine antagonists disrupt conditioning of the PER without disrupting olfactory perception (Cano Lozano et al. 1996 Gauthier et al. 1994). This result indicates that acetylcholine antagonists do not impair PER conditioning simply by eliminating the incoming olfactory CS from the antennal lobe, but instead disrupt the CS signal at a later stage of...


Orchids (Family Orchidaceae) have the most impressive array of specialized adaptations for pollination. They are also among the most diverse families of plants (with approximately 25,000 species), and they evolved probably only within the past 40 million years. Such rapid diversification may be related to the exotic modes of reproduction. The flowers of some species mimic the shape of female wasps males transfer pollen when they attempt to mate with the dummies. Other, South and Central American orchids secrete scents specific to one of nearly 200 species of orchid bees (Euglossinae). Male bees don't feed from the flowers, but collect scents that they use for displaying to females. Some orchids mimic the appearance and odor of mushrooms, and are pollinated by flies that normally congregate on mushrooms.

Fungi and Others

Although we consider them dumb growths, fungi, like plants, have entered into complex relationships with vastly different organisms. For example, consider the leaf-cutting ants, a division of the attine ants that harvest lepio-taceae fungi in specific areas within their nests where they feed on the ends of hyphae. Unable to digest cellulose of leaves, the leaf cutters avail themselves of the fungus's ability to convert cellulose into carbohydrates somewhat as we do in using yeast to make beer. The ants (Atta cephalotes) organize their societies around fungal farming, with medium-size ants transporting leaves to the nest and smaller ants inoculating fungi into it with their feces, as well as eliminating other fungi by ingesting them and by means of chemical secretions. The ants have also modified the architecture of their nests to accommodate their fungus gardens. As with our cultivation of corn, which now grows so thickly in its leaves that it cannot reproduce without being stripped...

History Of Fungi

Familiar as visible reproductive forms such as mushrooms, morels, and puffballs, but more often single-celled yeasts and other microscopic forms invisible to the naked eye, fungi can be defined as nonplant, nonanimal eukary-otes that develop from fungal spores. The largest include the shelf fungi that grow on the base of trees.

Fear of Fungi

Radically different attitudes exist culturally, especially between the East and the West, in regard to fungi. In English-speaking countries, which have been called mycophobic (fungi avoiding), mushrooms and molds have traditionally been considered inedible, poisonous, or evil. (Consider the term toadstool, with its dim connotations of evil and witchcraft.) The natural diversity of fungi has been much better appreciated, in general, by some non-English-speaking cultures. Although fungi can produce mycotoxins and disease, and while it can be fatal to eat misidentified fungi no doubt the original scientific impetus behind


Basidiomycotes produce basidia, clublike bodies within their gills or pores. These are best known to us because their clumped sexual reproductive organs pop up as edible, poisonous, and psychedelic mushrooms. The basidiospores result from a complex sexual life cycle that includes fusing hyphae and the merging of genetically different nuclei. There are two classes, the Heterobasidiomycetae and the Homobasidiomycetae in the former are found the rusts and smuts, such as corn smut, huitlacoche or cuitlacoche, a Mexican delicacy, while to the second group belong most mushrooms. Ectomycorrhizae, symbioses bringing phosphorus and other nutrients to trees and shrubs, are engaged in by thousands of basidiomycote species.

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