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Mushrooms. Basic Facts What is a Mushroom? How many kinds are there? How big are they? Aren’t mushrooms dangerous? Mushrooms are the above-ground fruiting.

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Presentation on theme: "Mushrooms. Basic Facts What is a Mushroom? How many kinds are there? How big are they? Aren’t mushrooms dangerous? Mushrooms are the above-ground fruiting."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mushrooms

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3 Basic Facts What is a Mushroom? How many kinds are there? How big are they? Aren’t mushrooms dangerous? Mushrooms are the above-ground fruiting bodies of FUNGI, which contain the organisms’ reproductive spores There are approximately 1.5 million species of Fungi in the world; Of those, 2,327 are used for edible or medicinal purposes Mushrooms themselves can vary from anywhere between 1 mm and 1 m! The largest known fungal organism is an Armillaria gallica in Crystal Falls, Michigan. Called the “humongous fungus,” it is 1500 years old and weighs over 9,700 kg ( > 100 tons, and almost the mass of an adult blue whale) More than 200 species are poisonous, and some have hallucenagenic properties

4 Mycelium Mycelium (gathering of individual Hyphae) Stipe Annulus Pileus (or Cap) Gills (or Lamellae) Lower veil Upper Veil Parts of a Fungus Hymenium (interior Spore-producing layer)

5 (Mushrooms = reproductive region of a fungus) REPRODUCTION in FUNGI Sexual Asexual Spores Haploid hyphae Compatible hyphae fuse New mycelium New organism (with traits from both parent fungi) Some fungi can reproduce with EITHER method! Individual Spores develop into clones of parent

6 The How and Why of Being Upright

7 Upright orientation allows spores to escape vs. Because of the sticky sides of the gills (the spore- producing triangular structures on the underside of the cap, spores cannot escape if the mushroom is tilted…

8 Stress on the stem increases as the degree of slant of the cap increases. *For this example, Height = 10 cm, Diameter = 3 cm, Cup Diameter = 10 cm, C (Drag) = 0.1, Velocity = 10 m/s

9 Stress on the stem increases as the stem's angles gets further from 90º *For this example, the mass of the cap = 50 g

10 How does a mushroom know which way to grow to be upright? It uses the sun as a guide! Photomorphogenesis: Dst1 is gene that encodes for flavoprotein that acts as blue light receptor

11 How does a mushroom stay upright? According to Euler Buckling, the force needed to make a long beam fall over is: F = nπ 2 EI/L 2 So increasing E and/or I, and/or decreasing L will increase F L I

12 What happens if it falls over? Inositol Triphosphate (IT) acts as a signaler within the plant (pic) 1.The IT in the plant collects at the root, because it still knows where that is 2.The IT begins doing rounds up and down the mushroom, to see if all the organelles and things inside the mushroom have fallen to one side. If not, the mushroom may just be swaying in the wind. 3.The IT tells the cells at the base of the mushroom to elongate. This continues along the stype of the mushroom, eventually picking the mushroom back up.

13 Mushrooms in Day to Day Life In Chinese folklore, certain types of mushrooms believed to be a panacea (a cure-all). Secondary metabolites (or chemicals that are not used directly for reproduction or growth) make some mushrooms toxic and others mind altering. More specifically, the alkaloid responsible for some mushrooms’ mind altering effects is Psilocybin. Psilocybin is being researched for its potential to help people with mental disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder.

14 Health Benefits Only a small percentage of mushrooms are edible (less than 10%). They are high in protein, carbohydrates, and fiber but low in fat. Mushrooms are a good source of vitamins and nutrients such as thiamin, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, and vitamin D2. Very few non-animal based foods are a good source of vitamin D, and mushrooms are one of them! The injection of 6 edible mushroom species into Swiss albino mice reduced the size of their tumors 72-92%. This is attributed to a polysaccharide called Lentinan which has also been shown to reduce the toxicity of AZT – an medication used to treat patients with AIDS. Three mushrooms in particular are being studied for, among other things, their anti-cancer, anti-cholesterol, and anti-diabetic properties: (1) Shiitake (2) Maitake and (3) Reishi mushrooms.

15 Shitake Mushrooms In Japanese, “Shii” is a type of tree in whose dead wood shiitake mushrooms grow. “Take” means mushroom. Shiitake has a great deal of vitamin D and is being studied for its anti- cancer, anti-cholesterol, and anti-viral activity. There exists a strong correlation between Shiitake mushroom intake and low cholesterol in rats. Young women who ate 90 grams of fresh shiitake mushrooms lowered their cholesterol on average by 12%. Shiitake mushrooms showed anti-viral activity in mice injected with influenza while 70 other plants and fungi including apples and spinach showed none.

16 Bioremediation The American Heritage Dictionary defines bioremediation as “the use of biological agents, such as bacteria or plants, to remove or neutralize contaminants, as in polluted soil or water.” In Tanzania, mushrooms are used to digest agricultural waste. Fungal mats are used in mycofiltration, where they act as biological filters The mycelium in mushrooms can dismantle the carbon and hydrogen bonds that make up pesticides, petroleum products, PCB’s, and other pollutants. This means that mushroom beds have the potential to deal with disposed toxic waste in a way that neutralizes its toxicity. In Washington State, soil blackened with oil was treated with a variety of techniques including planting a mushroom bed. The other techniques failed, but the mushroom bed flourished and attracted flies which in turn attracted birds, planting the seed for a quick return to a normal ecosystem. Stamet described an “oasis” that existed where previously there had been waste. One species of mushroom can be used to breakdown VX, the nerve gas agent that Sodem Hussein allegedly loaded warheads with during the Gulf War. “Microfiltration” and bioremediation may be the future of toxic waste management!

17 FUNgi Facts Some mushroom spores can sit dormant for 10 years and still grow! Mushrooms are more similar to animals than plants! Some of the largest mushroom colonies are so large that they can be seen from airplanes or even satellites! Mushroom spores are made of chitin, one of the hardest natural substances on Earth!


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