Friday, June 28, 2013

Fungal Word Friday: Aspergilloma

An aspergilloma is a ball, or clump, comprised mostly of Aspergillus hyphae.

Histopathy of Aspergilloma
This is generally found in a body cavity such as the lung during a fungal infection.

Photo Cred: Wiki contributor Marvin 101

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fungal Word Friday: Volva

The volva is a sheath around the stem base of some agarics.

Amanita ceasarea
It is especially well developed and recognizable among members of the Amanita genus.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fungi Found

I went on a little foray yesterday and found quite a little variety in my neighborhood nature area. Enjoy!

Crown Tip Coral and what appears to be the beginning of some Oyster Mushrooms.
Small Pufflball
Bleeding Fungi
Tiny Tiny Mushrooms
Dead Man's Fingers
Elegant Stinkhorn
Non-inky Coprinus
Shaggy Mane

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fungal Word Friday: Tempeh

Ok, sorry but my brain doesn't seem to be focusing today so Where I usually give a science word, today you get culinary genius; tempeh.

Sliced Tempeh
Tempeh is a food made by fermentation soybeans with the Mucoraceae fungus Rhizopus oligosporus and compressing it into a patty.
Preparing the patty for eating, it is sliced and then fried. It is eaten alone or really mixed into anything from chilies and stews to sandwiches and salads.

Photo cred: FotoosVanRobin from Netherlands (Tempe) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fungal Word Friday: Spermagonium

The male gamete in rust fungi is a non-motile cell that is covered in a sticky substance that causes it to adhere to insects that com in contact with it. These gametes are produced within a cup or flask shaped structure called a spermagonium, which also produces a nectar to attract flies.

Puccinia urticata on the surface of a nettle leaf

Photo Cred: Mark Ramotowski: Wikipedian Biologist

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pleomorphic Programming: Fungi Songs

Did you know people write songs about fungi? Well they do!

First up, here is a super catching song/video written by a teacher to help his 6th graders learn about fungi.

Next is a video some fella's did as a Biology project:


And lastly, if there is one song recently that has been know for being covered it is Gotye's "Somebody I used to know". So, I think I will
end with a cover of that song: I present the 2013 Science Parody of the year: Some Budding Yeast I Used to Grow:

The credit for these songs and their videos is purely that of their creators.

Monday, June 3, 2013

First Monday Mushroom: Lichen Agaric

This month we have an example of how topsy turvy taxonomy can be.Our mushroom is a small, moist, light brown-fading to yellow capped mushroom, with cream-yellow gills descending onto a light brownish stalk. The mushroom is found growing alongside lichens.

Lichen Agaric Lichenomphalia umbellifera
The reason this mushroom is an example how taxonomy can be rough in the fungi kingdom is all in the name. The Lichen agaric was once named among the Omphalina mushrooms. These mushrooms were given this name because of their small size and belly button like central dimple. This linked them to an older mushroom genus called Omphalia.; which was deemed as an illegitimate later homonym.  This means that several species which were categorized as Omphalina and Omphalia based on appearance had to be renamed because they did not truly belong there. The lichen agaric, once named Omphalina ericetorum, was one such mushroom. Its new and rightful name became Lichenomphalia umbellifera.

The key I am using is the  National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms and was published in 1985. Due to its publication date this key only gives the outdated name, but by cross referencing to newer keys and mushroom resources the history and newer identification becomes readily available.

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms

 (Key C)
Key to small, fragile mushrooms with caps less than 2 inches across and slender stalks.

1.            Mushroom on cones of conifers or on fallen magnolia fruits – 2

1.            Mushroom not as above – 3

3.            Mushroom growing on other mushrooms – 4
3.            Mushroom not as above – 5

5.            Mushroom growing on moss – 6
5.            Habitat otherwise – 9

9.            Mushroom growing with lichen – Omphalina ericetorum (Lichenomphalia umbellifera)

9.            Mushroom not growing with lichen -- 10

Photo cred: James Lindsey at Ecology of Commanster [CC-BY-SA-2.5 ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons