Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Seven New Luminescent Mushroom Species Discovered

Date:
October 5, 2009
Source:
San Francisco State University
Summary:
Seven new glow-in-the-dark mushroom species have been discovered, increasing the number of known luminescent fungi species from 64 to 71. The new finds include two new species named after movements in Mozart's Requiem. The discoveries also shed light on the evolution of luminescence, adding to the number of known lineages in the fungi "family tree" where luminescence has been reported.

A new luminescent fungus, Mycena luxaeterna discovered by San Francisco State University Professor Dennis Desjardin and Professor Cassius V. Stevani from the University of Sao Paulo has been reported in the journal Mycologia. The species was collected in Sao Paulo, Brazil and was found on sticks in an Atlantic forest habitat. These mushrooms are tiny with each cap measuring less than 8 millimeters in diameter and their stems have a jelly-like texture. The species' name was inspired by Mozart's Requiem.
Credit: Cassius V. Stevani, Chemistry Institute, University of Sao Paulo

Seven new glow-in-the-dark mushroom species have been discovered, increasing the number of known luminescent fungi species from 64 to 71. Reported in the journal Mycologia, the new finds include two new species named after movements in Mozart's Requiem. The discoveries also shed light on the evolution of luminescence, adding to the number of known lineages in the fungi 'family tree' where luminescence has been reported.

Related Articles


San Francisco State University Biology Professor Dennis Desjardin and colleagues discovered the fungi in Belize, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia and Puerto Rico. The discoveries include four species new to science and three new reports of luminescence in known species. Three quarters of glowing mushrooms, including the species described in the study, belong to the Mycena genus, a group of mushrooms that feed off and decompose organic matter as a source of nutrients to sustain their growth.

"What interests us is that within Mycena, the luminescent species come from 16 different lineages, which suggests that luminescence evolved at a single point and some species later lost the ability to glow," said Desjardin, lead author of the study. He believes that some fungi glow in order to attract nocturnal animals that aid in the dispersal of the mushroom's spores which are similar to seeds and are capable of growing into new organisms.

"It's pretty unusual to find this many luminescent species, typically only two to five percent of the species we collect in the field glow," Desjardin said. "I'm certain there are more out there."

The newly discovered fungi glow constantly, emitting a bright, yellowish-green light, and are tiny, with caps smaller than one centimeter across.

Desjardin has named two of the new species Mycena luxaeterna (eternal light) and Mycena luxperpetua (perpetual light), names inspired by Mozart's Requiem and the fact that these mushrooms glow 24 hours a day. To date, Desjardin has discovered more than 200 new fungi species and together with these latest findings, has discovered nearly a quarter of all known luminescent fungi.

"Luminescent Mycena: new and noteworthy species" was published online in the journal Mycologia on Oct. 5 and will appear in the March/April 2010 print issue. Co-authors include Brian A. Perry, former graduate student at San Francisco State University and currently of the University of Hawaii, D. Jean Lodge of the U.S. Forest Service, Cassius V. Stevani of the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil and Eiji Nagasawa of the Tottori Mycological Institute, Japan.

This research was supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by San Francisco State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

San Francisco State University. "Seven New Luminescent Mushroom Species Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091005123045.htm>.
San Francisco State University. (2009, October 5). Seven New Luminescent Mushroom Species Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091005123045.htm
San Francisco State University. "Seven New Luminescent Mushroom Species Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091005123045.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins