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Stories by Jennifer Frazer

Evolution

Deadly and Delicious Amanitas Can No Longer Decompose

The iconic Amanita muscaria. You may have seen some smurfs living in one of these. Public domain; click image for link. Amanita mushrooms -- like all creatures -- rot, but most of them can't rot other things.The fact that they don't rot other things is not news to biologists, who have long known that many, if not most, fungi have become professional partners with trees, plants, or algae.The fact that they can't rot other things -- as reported in July in PLoS ONE -- is news, and provides a clue to how symbiotic partnerships can withstand the temptations of leaving and the sometimes dissonant interests of their symbiotic partners...

September 21, 2012 — Jennifer Frazer
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