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OfflinemotamanM
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Mushrooms may hold key to saving the rainforests
    #3130423 - 09/13/04 06:25 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

http://icliverpool.icnetwork.co.uk/0100n...-name_page.html


Mushrooms may hold key to saving the rainforests
Sep 13 2004

By Deborah James Daily Post Staff

SCIENTISTS believe they may have found the key to saving the world's rainforests - a small golf-ball shaped mushroom that smells of aniseed.

A team of researchers at Liverpool John Moores University have discovered a new species of spherical mushroom, which when placed next to the root of certain trees, can improve growth rate by at least 20%.

The edible fungus, which tastes like a nutty brown mushroom, is found only in the tropical rainforests of Thailand, and has been named Astraeus Oderatus after its distinctive sweet aniseed odour.

It is part of the gasteromycetes fungi family, which means it is round and has no visible root or stem.

It was discovered by Thai student Dr Cherochai Phosri, during the final year of his PhD in Liverpool last year, as part of a long-term micro-biology collaboration between JMU and Thailand's top university, Chulalongkorn, in Bangkok.

Last night JMU's project leader Professor Anthony Whalley, who is also honorary treasurer of the British Mycological Society, explained how the find could help replenish the world's rainforests.

He said: "When a rainforest is felled for farming, the soil loses its nutrients and new seedlings simply can't grow.

"Dr Phosri discovered this new species of mushroom growing next to the roots, just below the surface of the soil, in existing rainforests.

"It forms a symbiotic relationship with the tree roots, giving the plant vital nutrients so it can develop.

"We have tested it on eucalyptus and pine seedlings in the laboratory here, and the results have been fantastic. We have improved the growth rate of seedlings by about 20%.

"We now need to test it in Thailand where the temperature is right for the tall rainforest trees like the shorea to grow.

"If it works, this is a very significant find. It could be the key to the reforestation of the world's rainforests, not just in Thailand but all over south east Asia and southern America around the Amazon."

Thailand has seen massive devastation of its rainforests since the end of World War II, as trees, mainly teak, have been felled and sold for timber.

The discovery is to be presented to more than 200 experts from all over the world at the British Mycological Society symposium conference which starts today at Nottingham University.

Prof Whalley said: "Fungi do tend to be forgotten by the general public.

"But they are vital to our whole eco-system, without them our forests - particularly our rainforests couldn't survive."

Many mushrooms are known to have medicinal properties, for example the shiitake, which is known to boost the immune system, is commonly used in Chinese cooking and available in British supermarkets. Students at JMU are also working on finding fungi-based cures for diseases like cancer and Aids.

Prof Whalley added: "A few years ago, scientists found a new drug, taxol, in the needles of the Atlantic Yew Tree, which is a very strong anti-cancer drug particularly effective in the treatment of breast cancer.

"It turned out to be produced by a fungus living in the tree, now known as toxomyces.

"We are constantly looking for new compounds similar to this, in the hope of finding something of benefit to mankind, like a cure for major diseases.

"We have already found one very good anti-malarial compound that is being tested in Thailand."

JMU first set up links with Thailand 20 years ago, through the Royal Project, which was sponsored by the Prince of Thailand.

Initially the aim was to identify lucrative European crops that could be grown in Thailand, to discourage farmers from growing opium poppies that are later refined to produce heroin.


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Offlinebutterflydawn
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Re: Mushrooms may hold key to saving the rainforests [Re: motaman]
    #3133020 - 09/14/04 03:49 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

interesting


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OfflineAsanteA
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Re: Mushrooms may hold key to saving the rainforests [Re: butterflydawn]
    #3133197 - 09/14/04 06:17 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

A team of researchers at Liverpool John Moores University have discovered a new species of spherical mushroom, which when placed next to the root of certain trees, can improve growth rate by at least 20%.

The edible fungus, which tastes like a nutty brown mushroom, is found only in the tropical rainforests of Thailand, and has been named Astraeus Oderatus after its distinctive sweet aniseed odour.





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OfflineMikeOLogical
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Re: Mushrooms may hold key to saving the rainforests [Re: motaman]
    #3135601 - 09/14/04 07:41 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

I don't know about this... look at the devastation the tilapia have caused, or the snakehead, or those mussels that have worked their way into every lake and river in america...

introducing a new species to a location can bring disaster and unpredictable results...

like that simpsons episode where bart shoots a bird and hatches their eggs, but lizards come out instead... them lizards were everywhere...


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Offlinedeff
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Re: Mushrooms may hold key to saving the rainforests [Re: MikeOLogical]
    #3136156 - 09/14/04 09:56 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Or the one where they go to australia and he brings the bullfrog :smile:


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OfflineMycena
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Re: Mushrooms may hold key to saving the rainforests [Re: motaman]
    #3179041 - 09/25/04 03:38 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Its just a case of the media catching on to science 30 years too late

Its just another mycorrhizal fungus and here is no good reason to introduce them from asia to sth america - sth america proll has its own
we have plenty already and the are used routinely in Eucalypt and pine plantations all over Asia and Australia

Ive got several practical training books on it and the newest is 10 years old!

Its not so special cos the ones that matter most are the arbuscular fungi as the infect very young seedlings, the ECM's which inlcude most mushrooms come into play a bit later or much later
The former are sieved from soil or baited on host plants then multplied on host planst for innoculation
The latteryou collect lost of shroom, dry and powder to make spore slurry to innoculate seedlings in the nursery


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