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.
22945 videos foundNext > 

The Power of Fungi, Mushrooms, and Mycelium

Brief explanation about what mushrooms and mycelium is, followed by the amazing tool set fungi gives us in food/medicine production, bioremediation (healing ...

Paul Stamets: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world

http://www.ted.com Mycologist Paul Stamets studies the mycelium -- and lists 6 ways that this astonishing fungus can help save the world. TEDTalks is a daily...

Starting Mycelium at home

Brief instructions on how to start mycelium for the mushrooms you want to grow at home inexpensively and easily. in this video I'll show you what to do to ge...

Mushroom Mycelium Feeding on Nematodes

Excerpt from BBC's "The Private Life of Plants" Predatory fungi mycelium vs nematodes.

Transferring mycelium on agar to grain

Still works after 10 years :)

Mycelium

Cet étrange voyage nous emmène sur une terre inconnue où la vie se transforme avec férocité et élégance. On a barren planet, a shaft of light suddenly splits...

1.Growing oyster mushroom mycelium at home cheap and easy

This is the first step in learning how to grow oyster mushrooms at home, cheaply and easily using readily available supplies and non sterile techniques. Here...

Fruiting Oyster Mushroom Mycelium

This video shows how to take Oyster Mushroom mycelium and prepare it so that you can have your own fruiting colony.

Paul Stamets - Mycelium Running 1of5

This interview is from 2007 on Agricultural Innovations Podcast. Topics range from saving the world to various aspects of Mr.Stamets scientific work and books.

Pleurotus mycelium vs Trichoderma (Timelapse)

This batch of grain spawn cracked at the base and got contaminated. An epic micro battle followed.

22945 videos foundNext > 

1749 news items

 
Bitcoinist.net
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 10:56:15 -0800

The open-source, local trader app, Mycelium, that Android users have been able to utilize for months now has finally come over to the bright white side of digital tech by releasing a bitcoin wallet for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. There was no ...

Wired

Wired
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 08:30:00 -0800

Mycelium is something of a wonder material, though it's only recently gained attention through projects David Benjamin's Hy-Fi, the biobrick installation at MoMA's PS1. “If you go into any high school or college, the kingdom of fungi is going to be the ...
 
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:01:51 -0800

Love is Love Farm's mushroom logs may be oak, sweet gum, maple, poplar or other hardwood species each inoculated with shiitake mycelium. The mycelium grow (or “colonize” in mushroom parlance) inside the log and the mushrooms will spring out of ...

Dezeen

Dezeen
Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:56:15 -0800

A team of researchers has completed a working prototype for a drone made from a fungal material that will biodegrade if it crashes outdoors. Mycelium biological drone The vehicle's body, provided by Ecovative Design. New York-based biomaterial company ...
 
Washington Post
Sat, 22 Nov 2014 07:00:35 -0800

Mushrooms are made up of a structure called mycelium. It grows looking almost like a spider web when it's spread out, but it can grow to fit the confines it's placed in, eventually forming a tough chunk of foamy material. By putting mycelium into a ...

The Local Austria

Mother Nature Network
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:14:59 -0800

The two types of fungi used in the prototypes were the oyster mushroom and the "split gill," both of which remain edible even as their root-like mycelium suck up plastic. Other types of edible mushrooms could also potentially work. And there is not yet ...

VICE

VICE
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 14:41:15 -0800

Before we decided to look into the plastic matter, we were really fascinated by the mycelium. So usually we eat the mushrooms, which is basically everything that comes out of the soil, and the mycelium are, more or less, the roots and the majority of ...

The Columbian

The Columbian
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 06:04:24 -0800

Did you know? Mushrooms don't reproduce with seeds, but via spores that germinate to produce interwoven structures called hyphae. Masses of hyphae are the mycelium. Samsung Solve for Tomorrow. Hudson's Bay High School named state winner and will ...
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