The Farmer Fungi

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When [microbiologist Pilar] Junier and [mycologist Daniel] Job cultured M. crassipes and P. putida together, they saw that the fungi formed sclerotia at the point on the plate farthest from the spot where the bacteria had been inoculated.

Over a series of experiments, the researchers observed the fungus dispersing the bacteria, then feeding them with fungal exudates, and finally harvesting carbon from the bacteria and storing it in sclerotia.

Besides the distribution, feeding, and harvesting of the bacteria by the fungus, two other observations convinced Junier that what they saw was truly farming. The ability of sclerotia to store bacteria and then later redistribute them on a fresh plate is similar to seed storage in human agriculture.

Junier explains that they also observed M. crassipes harvesting carbon from the bacteria in one area and storing it in another, which mirrors the way that humans use farm animals.

Via TheScientist.

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About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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