digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

Fungal mycelium
Microscopic view of a mycelium.  This image covers a one-millimeter square.
Another microscopic view of a mycelium.  Numbered ticks are 230 µm apart.
Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) growing on coffee grounds
Mycelium as seen under a log

Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus, consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae. The mass of hyphae is sometimes called shiro, especially within the fairy ring fungi. Fungal colonies composed of mycelium are found in and on soil and many other substrates. A typical single spore germinates into a homokaryotic mycelium, which cannot reproduce sexually; when two compatible homokaryotic mycelia join and form a dikaryotic mycelium; that mycelium may form fruiting bodies such as mushrooms. A mycelium may be minute, forming a colony that is too small to see, or it may be extensive:

Is this the largest organism in the world? This 2,400-acre (9.7 km2) site in eastern Oregon had a contiguous growth of mycelium before logging roads cut through it. Estimated at 1,665 football fields in size and 2,200 years old, this one fungus has killed the forest above it several times over, and in so doing has built deeper soil layers that allow the growth of ever-larger stands of trees. Mushroom-forming forest fungi are unique in that their mycelial mats can achieve such massive proportions.

Through the mycelium, a fungus absorbs nutrients from its environment. It does this in a two-stage process. First, the hyphae secrete enzymes onto or into the food source, which break down biological polymers into smaller units such as monomers. These monomers are then absorbed into the mycelium by facilitated diffusion and active transport.

Mycelium is vital in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems for their role in the decomposition of plant material. They contribute to the organic fraction of soil, and their growth releases carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. Ectomycorrhizal extramatrical mycelium, as well as the mycelium of Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi increase the efficiency of water and nutrient absorption of most plants and confers resistance to some plant pathogens. Mycelium is an important food source for many soil invertebrates.

"Mycelium", like "fungus", can be considered a mass noun, a word that can be either singular or plural. The term "mycelia", though, like "fungi", is often used as the preferred plural form.

Sclerotia are compact or hard masses of mycelium.

Uses[edit]

One of the primary roles of fungi in an ecosystem is to decompose organic compounds. Petroleum products and some pesticides (typical soil contaminants) are organic molecules (i.e. they are built on a carbon structure), and thereby present a potential carbon source for fungi. Hence, fungi have the potential to eradicate such pollutants from their environment; unless the chemicals prove toxic to the fungus. This biological degradation is a process known as bioremediation.

Mycelial mats have been suggested (see Paul Stamets) as having potential as biological filters, removing chemicals and microorganisms from soil and water. The use of fungal mycelium to accomplish this has been termed mycofiltration.

Knowledge of the relationship between mycorrhizal fungi and plants suggests new ways to improve crop yields.

When spread on logging roads, mycelium can act as a binder, holding new soil in place and preventing washouts until woody plants can be established.

Since 2007, a company called Ecovative Design has been developing alternatives to polystyrene and plastic packaging by growing mycelium in agricultural waste. The two ingredients are mixed together and placed into a mold for 3–5 days to grow into a durable material. Depending on the strain of mycelium used, they make many different varieties of the material including water absorbent, flame retardant, and dielectric.[2]

Fungi are essential for converting biomass into compost, as they decompose feedstock components such as lignin, which many other composting microorganisms cannot.[3] Turning a backyard compost pile will commonly expose visible networks of mycelia that have formed on the decaying organic material within. Compost is an essential soil amendment and fertilizer for organic farming and gardening. Composting can divert a substantial fraction of municipal solid waste from landfill.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stamets, Paul. Mycelium Running, Ten Speed Press, U.S.A. 2005 (p. 45, caption to figure 60)
  2. ^ Kile, Meredith (September 13, 2013). "How to replace foam and plastic packaging with mushroom experiments". Al Jazeera America. 
  3. ^ "Composting - Compost Microorganisms". Cornell University. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Epstein, Eliot (2011). Industrial Composting: Environmental Engineering and Facilities Management. CRC Press. ISBN 143984531X. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycelium — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1 videos found

https://youtube.com/devicesupport

https://youtube.com/devicesupport http://m.youtube.com

 
1 videos found

2229 news items

CoinTelegraph

CoinTelegraph
Tue, 12 May 2015 04:40:55 -0700

"Mycelium's hope is that Gear will encourage even more merchants to adopt Bitcoin and completely change the way merchant transactions are done, thus continuing our goal of decentralizing everything, improving privacy, and eliminating unnecessary third ...

Bitcoin Magazine

Bitcoin Magazine
Sat, 09 May 2015 14:02:20 -0700

Mycelium has announced the launch of a new merchant processor, Mycelium Gear. Merchants can now receive payments directly into a Mycelium or Electrum wallet free of charge by installing a payment widget on their website or by integrating its ...

CoinTelegraph

CoinTelegraph
Sat, 16 May 2015 05:00:00 -0700

Mycelium made an unexpected announcement on May 8 — an introduction to a new project called Mycelium Gear, which is a direct, zero-fee payment processor for merchants. Bitcoin users no longer have to worry about providing their personal information to ...

Brave New Coin

Brave New Coin
Mon, 11 May 2015 01:35:57 -0700

"Mycelium's hope is that Gear will encourage even more merchants to adopt bitcoin and completely change the way merchant transactions are done, thus continuing our goal of decentralizing everything, improving privacy, and eliminating unnecessary third ...

WXOW.com

WXOW.com
Thu, 21 May 2015 18:07:30 -0700

"You want to get close to the base, because some people will eat the stem, but you don't want to take out all the dirt and the mycelium, which is kind of the root structure,” he said, picking a mushroom. He's even left a few unpicked to help them grow ...
 
San Antonio Express-News (subscription)
Fri, 22 May 2015 15:07:30 -0700

And there's still room in that soil for enough fungi mycelium to stretch from San Antonio to New Braunfels and back, along with protozoa, nematodes, arthropods and earthworms. It sounds creepy, but all those teensy creatures feed and protect plants as ...

CoinReport

CoinReport
Thu, 21 May 2015 17:00:00 -0700

(3) Mycelium: While the OBPP notes Mycelium is the best performer of all mobile wallets in this round of rating, its score suffers from the method through which the wallet obtains balance information: dedicated Mycelium servers rather than connecting ...

Bitcoin Magazine

Bitcoin Magazine
Wed, 20 May 2015 12:18:45 -0700

The Open Bitcoin Privacy Project (OBPP), has released a report on 10 leading Bitcoin wallets, setting standards for privacy that they argue are much needed in the space. The Bitcoin wallets in the report include Coinbase, Blockchain.info, Mycelium, ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight