Anaerobic Fungi...

Eric Grunden egrunden at prairienet.org
Sat Mar 23 12:09:27 EST 1996


In a previous article, tb at tbrown.lvlham.lincoln.ac.nz (Terry Brown) says:

>But I think there's supposed to be an orchid that gets its C from the saprohytic
>activity of its mycorrhiza thorughout it's lifespan, even then I don't know if
>you'd call it a parasite, although I don't know what's in it for the fungus.

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If it's truly a "mycorrhizal" association, then the fungus utilizes
various exudates from the orchid roots as food. The orchid is not
slowly killing the fungus, is it? Although, now that I think of it,
I seem to recall hearing that some plants, when they no longer need
the association, do kill off the fungus. In these cases, does the
plant do this by taking but not giving back nutrient material, OR
does the plant emit myrosin (or some other toxic compound) as a
natural "fungicide"? If it's the former case, then I would say
that's a plant parasitizing (acting as a pathogen to) a fungus.
Wouldn't you?

Back to the original subject of anaerobic fungi, nobody has yet
answered whether or not these fungi produce fruiting bodies. I
already knew that they grow in the gut of certain ruminant animals
(so I was sorta joking about eating them, although who knows...)
but do they ever fruit? How about after ther animals death? Where
do they obtain their food, from the animal's cells or from food
ingested by the animal? What happens if they are exposed to oxygen?
Do any stomach bacteria prey upon the fungus? What purpose do they
serve in the gut, do they aid digestion? Curious?......

--
			*******************
The Spirit of Nature, a powerful force,
	belongs and returns to its creative source.
- Excerpted from The Collective Works of Johnny Pokerface -



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