Selfish genes are genes that are passed on to the next generation but confer no advantage on the individual as a whole, and may sometimes be harmful. Researchers at Uppsala University have, for the first time, sequenced (or charted) two selfish genes in the fungus Neurospora intermedia that cause fungal spores to kill their siblings. Unexpectedly, the genes were not related to each other, perhaps indicating that selfish genes are more common than previously thought.
In the fight against aflatoxin, dairy producers often turn to sequestering agents such as clay to reduce transference of the toxin into milk. It's an effective tactic, but a new study from the University of Illinois shows that clay has additional benefits for overall cow health.
A major cause of human disability and death throughout the world, sepsis is a condition that begins with an infection, progresses rapidly and can set off a chain of effects that result in multiple organ failure and irreparable damage to the body. Because of the condition's rapid onset, physicians must respond immediately to the symptoms with broad-spectrum antibiotics for infection, drugs to combat inflammation and, in the more critical cases, vasopressors to manage shock.
Reported Oct. 8, 2018, in Nature Microbiology, a team led by researchers at the US Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, has developed a pipeline to generate genomes from single cells of uncultivated fungi. The approach was tested on several uncultivated fungal species representing early diverging fungi, the earliest evolutionary branches in the fungal genealogy that provide a repertoire of important and valuable gene products.
A mushroom extract fed to honey bees greatly reduces virus levels, according to a new paper. In field trials, colonies fed mycelium extract showed a 79-fold reduction in deformed wing virus and a 45,000-fold reduction in Lake Sinai virus compared to control colonies. The hope is that the results of this research will help dwindling honey bee colonies fight viruses that are known to play a role in colony collapse disorder.
After suffering mass mortality for years due to infection with the deadly Batrachochytrium dendrobatridis fungus, or chytrid, some frog populations in El Copé, Panama, now seem to be co-existing with the pathogen and stabilizing their populations.
In a study publishing Sept. 26 in Science Advances, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences report that tweaking factors in a cystic fibrosis lung model, such as pH balance and oxygen, helped eradicate pathogenic bacteria while minimizing risks of antibiotic resistance and overgrowth of other microorganisms.
A non-pathogenic fungus can expand in the intestines of antibiotic-treated mice and enhance the severity of allergic airways disease, according to a study published Sept. 20 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by David Underhill of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and colleagues. The findings suggest that alterations in gut microbiota induced by intestinal fungi might be a previously unrecognized but potentially important risk of antibiotic therapy in patients with asthma and other respiratory diseases.
Since 2010, pistachio farmers from Sicily have been reporting a disease on the trees, characterised by cankers and declines, sometimes leading to the collapse of entire plants. Having surveyed 15 pistachio orchards from three provinces, as well as potted plants, an international team of researchers identified a new disease caused by a previously unknown fungus. The aetiology of the disease and the new pathogenic species are described in the open access journal MycoKeys.
A Rutgers-led team has discovered how plants harness microbes in soil to get nutrients, a process that could be exploited to boost crop growth, fight weeds and slash the use of polluting fertilizers and herbicides.