Anaerobic Fungi...

Dave Jefferies Dave at
Fri Mar 22 20:07:47 EST 1996

A few remnants of my mycological knowledge:

The obligate anaerobes were discovered in, if my memory servres me,
sheeps' guts and not immediately recognized as fungi (since fungi are
aerobic!). I no longer have any references to hand.

The orchid mycorrhzas could be described as the plants being parasitic
on fungi. This would be the case in particular with those orchids that
lack chlorophyll but look up the development of the dust like orchid 
There is a fundamental problem in the term 'parasite' since this
describes just one part of the symbiotic spectrum. The exact
relationship in terms of net nutrient flows will vary depending on the
environment/development of the symbiosis.

A colleague, Johnathan Leake of Sheffield (UK) University, published a
review of plants without chlorophyll in New Phytologist about 2 years
ago and that may be of interest.

Whose heart is filled with fungi but now turns to computers to fill his

In article <Pine.A32.3.91.960320173317.218558A-100000 at>,
Grunden Eric <grunden at> writes
>Much to my surprise, I recently read about the existence of fungi
>which are obligate anaerobes. This has set me to wondering; Do
>these fungi ever produce fruiting bodies or are they strictly
>asexual?  Are they edible? Are they (like the leaf-cutter fungus)
>the next, as of yet, undiscovered delicacy, waiting to be prized 
>by gourmets worldwide? Curious....?  Oh, also, there are many
>cases of fungi parasitizing plants, but does the opposite ever
>occur? Is there a parasitic plant that exists off of fungi?
>I know that insectivorous plants utilize the chitin of insects as a
>nitrogen source, and that's why I began wondering if any plants
>utilize fungal chitin in a similar manner. Any thoughts?......

Dave Jefferies

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