A Mycological Call for Action

The Synergistic Beneficial Contributions of Mushroom Mycelium: Carbon Sequestration, Soil Building and Spores for Nucleation in Water Droplet Formation. 

It is hard to imagine why only a few of us (thank you !) have any clue about the importance of fungi in the ecosystem. Here are three pertinent articles and two books that all students, in my opinion, should be taught. I suggest teachers incorporate this information as a core ecological principle in their curriculum. I also ask carbon climate scientists to focus on the role of mycelium in reducing carbon emissions, a seemingly contradictory statement since fungi outgas carbon dioxide. 

 

Soil Contains more Carbon than Air and Plants Combined
Microscopic fungi that live in plants' roots play a major role in the ...Soil contains more carbon than air and plants combined.

http://science.time.com/2014/01/08/why-some-mushrooms-may-be-magic-for-climate-change/

Mushrooms as Rainmakers: How Spores Act as Nuclei for Raindrops
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0140407

Fungi in Ecosystem Processes

goo.gl/Cr0uHK

 

And, of course:

NAMA : http://namyco.org

Mycological Society of America: https://msafungi.org

Fungi Perfecti: Http://fungi.com

Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World by Paul Stamets http://www.fungi.com/product-detail/product/mycelium-running.html

'A load of old rot': Fossil of oldest known land-dweller identified

""This fossil provides a hint that mushroom-forming fungi may have colonised the land before the first animals left the oceans," said Smith. "It fills an important gap in the evolution of life on land."

Filaments of Tortotubus. Credit: Martin R. Smith

Filaments of Tortotubus.

Credit: Martin R. Smith

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160302082245.htm

" But before any complex forms of life could live on land, there needed to be nutrients there to support them. Fungi played a key role in the move to land, since by kick-starting the rotting process, a layer of fertile soil could eventually be built up, enabling plants with root systems to establish themselves, which in turn could support animal life. By reconstructing how the organism grew, he was able to show that the fossils represent mycelium -- the root-like filaments that fungi use to extract nutrients from soil."

MycoDiversity is BioSecurity: Mushroom Mycelium & the Worldwide Food Web

PAUL STAMETS - October 7

 

at the Northwest Permaculture Convergence.

http://www.northwestpermaculture.org/

 

Fort Flagler, Nordland, WA

 

Special Friday Evening package

 

$35 gets you dinner; Paul Stamets’ keynote presentation including his latest findings;  a first peek at the Expo, and Skillshare Village; and the evening song circle.  This charge does not apply to people attending the whole conference. Just people coming in for the evening.  Gate opens at 5:00 pm.

 

5:30- 6:45 pm: Dinner.

7:00 – 7:45: Opening Circle and introductions.

8:00-9:30: Keynote talk by Paul Stamets

9:30 on. Evening program. Cohorts Reunion, socializing, song-circles, music jams, ad hoc scheduling.

Communing with the Bees!

As part of our ‪#‎bee‬-‪#‎mushroom‬ efforts, in collaboration with Drs. Steve Sheppard and Brandon Hopkins at the #Bee Research Lab at the Washington State University, Paul Stamets blessed by the bees. As part of our 'give back' ‪#‎GBAC‬ ( ‪#‎GiveBeesAChance‬ ) program, Paul, Dusty and the Fun-guys and Fung-gals at Host Defense & Starship FP donated $ 50,000 for research.

Paul says:
This is an all hands on deck moment. We face imminent threats to food ‪#‎biosecurity‬ as - according to top bee researchers - bee health is increasingly threatened worldwide, and the trends are worsening. We try to walk our talk and appreciate the support from all of you. We and the bees thank you! If you wish to join in this effort, go to our Http://beefriendlyinitiative.org

Paul Stamets, Earthling, Director of Research Fungi Perfecti, LLC Senator Judy Warnick, 13th Legislative District, WA State Dr. Dan Bernardo, Provost & Executive Vice President, Washington State University

Paul Stamets, Earthling, Director of Research Fungi Perfecti, LLC
Senator Judy Warnick, 13th Legislative District, WA State
Dr. Dan Bernardo, Provost & Executive Vice President, Washington State University

Turkey Tail Tree Stump Removal

We received another wonderful testimonial from a customer. This one comes from James, who used our Turkey Tail Plug Spawn to take care of a particularly persistent stump on his property and enjoy harvests of mushrooms to boot!

In a salute to James' efforts, we have put together a page of products that might best be used for this purpose: http://www.fungi.com/product-detail/product/turkey-tail-plug-spawn-approx-100-plugs.html

#‎FungiPerfecti‬ ‪#‎GrowMushrooms‬ ‪#‎StumpRemoval‬

--------------------------------------------------

Hello my friends at Fungi Perfecti!

I just wanted to take a minute to say a big THANK YOU to you for making the Turkey Tail spawn plugs available. A few years ago, I had a crabapple #tree that was in rough shape, and was also blocking the sun from my #gardens, and really needed to come down. I cut it down, leveled the stump flat with a chainsaw, and then inoculated the stump with one of your turkey tail plug spawn kits.

After a little over a year, I had about a season and a half of very nice flushes, which I harvested and made into tea (I still have quite a bit of the dried turkey tails left!). Very #healing and quite excellent.

The other reason for inoculating the stump was to remove it at low cost, and do it by myself without a stump grinder, etc. Well, today was the momentous day! Not knowing how broken down the stump would be, but hoping that it was ready for removal, I went out this morning with a large pry bar and a ten pound sledgehammer. The stump had pretty much stopped producing turkey tails, which I figured was another good sign that the wood was pretty soft.

Thanks to using your turkey tail plug spawn, I was able to use that pry bar and hammer to remove that huge, quite unattractive stump from the center of my back yard with relative ease. I am especially happy about being able to remove the roots and all the parts attached to the ground, which, if you've ever tried to remove that part of a large tree or shrub you know it is extremely tough. Not so with the spent turkey tail stump! Most of the huge roots and pieces in the ground didn't even require the hammer; just pushing the pry bar underneath them and applying a bit of leverage was enough to easily lift them out of the soil.

These are exactly the #results I hoped for when I #inoculated that stump several years ago, both in harvesting medicinal turkey tails and in eventual easy stump removal. Thank you so much for the education and the wonderful plug spawn kit. And by all means feel free to use any or all of my words in your testimonials if you wish. They are 100% true and sincere and from the heart.

Much Love and Appreciation,

James Galusha

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Thoughts on the Escape of the Gene-edited Crispr Mushroom from US regulation

Jose A. Bernat Bacete/Getty Images

Jose A. Bernat Bacete/Getty Images

Note: Although heralded by some scientists as a breakthrough, re: “The research community will be very happy with the news,” says Caixia Gao, a plant biologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’s Institute of ‪#‎Genetics‬ and Developmental ‪#‎Biology‬ in Beijing."

I am one researcher who does not agree. I strongly recommend caution. Using ‪#‎Crispr‬ gene editing, scientists interfered with polyphenol oxidase (tyrosinase) production to produce a button (Agaricus bisporus) strain that does not brown. What these researchers apparently did not know is that my research has found that this pathway is responsible for many novel antivirals. (See http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser…). 

‪#‎Mushrooms‬ have developed novel antivirals that protect them, and by extrapolation us. By interfering with this polyphenol pathway, I am concerned that they have defeated the endogenous natural antiviral defenses. What does this mean? Time will tell. I hope this does not lead to new reservoirs of hyper-viruses that can now emerge unchecked by the natural genome. In scientific terms, this could be a big "OOPS" ! The hubris of scientists playing with such powerful technology without consideration of downstream consequences is potentially dangerous. Genes code for many activities. Defeating them for one purpose may cause unforeseen consequences far more important than creating cosmetically beautiful mushrooms that will sell longer in the grocery stores. ‪#‎fungi‬

Sustainable Food & Farm conference - Grass Valley, CA - 1/2016

Paul Stamets rocks the Sustainable Food & Farm conference, Grass Valley, Ca. where up to 700 innovative, sustainable farmers and stakeholders attended.


The take home from this conference : new generation and converted conventional farmers  "get it" --- fungi, no till, and biodiversity techniques synergize to create profitable businesses, which build soil health without chemical inputs. Fungi connect us all - and helps immunity of plants and animals !

6 days time lapse of Amanita muscaria & negative geotropism

Amanita muscaria, the Fly Agaric or Soma (to some) metamorphosizes from the button to mature stage in 6 days. Detached from the ground, and although appearing larger, the mushroom does not gain additional mass. The button stage, although having no spores, is programmed genetically to evolve into a sporulating fruit body. Interesting! *note that this mushroom re-orients itself to be horizontal, a response that is known as 'negative geotropism'. This response is common to most mushrooms which are connected to its mycelial mat. Once picked, some do; some do not.

Amanita muscaria, the Fly Agaric or Soma (to some) metamorphosizes from the button to mature stage in 6 days. Detached from the ground, and although appearing larger, the mushroom does not gain additional mass. The button stage, although having no spores, is programmed genetically to evolve into a sporulating fruit body. Interesting!

*note that this mushroom re-orients itself to be horizontal, a response that is known as 'negative geotropism'. This response is common to most mushrooms which are connected to its mycelial mat. Once picked, some do; some do not.

Mushrooms and Mycelium Help the Microbiome

A glimpse into the world of mushrooms, and the many ways they support us

Authored by Paul Stamets, Fungi Perfecti, LLC

Few people know that we are more closely related to fungi than to any other kingdom. 650 million years ago, we split from fungi. We chose to encircle our nutrients within a cellular sack, a stomach, and digested nutrients within. Fungi chose to externally digest its nutrients, and projected a fine filamentous, cobweb like cellular networks known as mycelium. In both cases, over millions of years, choosing beneficial bacteria to aid in this process became essential for good digestion. By selecting commensal bacteria to help digest food, both humans and mushroom mycelium created complex communities -- microbiomes -- to help digestion, prevent disease, and extend longevity. Not only do we benefit from a healthy microbiome, but so too does the mycelium.

The mushroom is a fruit of the mycelium, like an apple is to an apple tree. Mushrooms are made of compacted mycelium but are materially different than mycelium. Mushrooms are nutritionally dense, packed with proteins, minerals, vitamins (B,D), low in fat (5%, mostly linoleic acids) and are free of cholesterol. The cobwebby mycelium exudes enormous suites of enzymes, antimicrobial agents, antiviral compounds, as it grows in the ground beneath our feet and in the forests around us. Mycelium is the cellular foundation of our food webs, creating the rich soils so necessary for life. Mycelium is a digestive membrane that also destroys many environmental toxic wastes, and has spawned a new science -- called "Mycoremediation." Promoting mycelium in your garden and yards helps neutralizes many of the toxins that challenge our immune systems. Partnering with mycelium improves environmental health -- outside and inside our body. 

Mycelium's selection of bacteria, in the creation of guilds of microbes, is essential for the mycelium's survival. The mycelium chooses suites of bacteria that not only helps it digest food, and stave off predators, but also helps the plant communities that give rise to the ecosystems in which the mycelium resides, so fruits (mushrooms) can be produced. This means that mycelium based products can aid digestion and help promote beneficial bacteria in our microbiomes.

The nutritious and delectable mushrooms are very temporary, typically up only for a few days, attracting us and many other animals. Of great interest is that we know now mushrooms are prebiotics for the micrbiome -- augmenting the growth of beneficial bacteria such as Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium. Recent research now shows the consumption of Reishi and Turkey Tail mushrooms, not only boost the immune system, but also balance the microbiome in favor of these beneficial bacteria, resulting in better digestion, and amazingly weight loss!

Consuming mushrooms and mycelium adds many benefits in our pursuit of good health. Just make sure the products you consume are Certified Organic, US grown (better inspections), and that you know where they are grown and who is growing them. This is so important because there is a lot of deceptive advertising motivated by maximizing profits by minimizing costs, which jeopardizes quality. Adding mushrooms to your diet is probably one of the most important additions to the foods you can ingest that will improve your health!

 

Stamets in 2016

January 9th, 2016
*Sustainable Food and Farm conference, 
Nevada City, CA
http://foodandfarmconference.com/event-details/



- January 16 - 18, 2016

*SOMA Camp
Occidental, CA
http://www.somamushrooms.org/camp/


- Feb. 8th

*Sonoma County Bee Keepers Association
Sonoma County 4-H Center facility, Rohnert Park, CA
http://sonomabees.org/speaker-list

(the website date is incorrect and will be changed soon)

 

Feb. 24, 2016 

*Public Talk - Los Angeles, CA - TBD

 

Feb. 26 - 29, 2016* Florida Herbal Conference,
Tiger Lake in Lake Wales, Florida
http://floridaherbalconference.org/

Agarikon & Shaman Grave Guardians

On my lifelong quest for saving as many strains of Agarikon as possible, here is a photo taken yesterday with Mel Mack and Scott Franzblau showing the dramatic difference between a fresh Agarikon and what it will eventually become - the Ghost Form, which First Peoples of the PNW regarded as spiritual guardians in the afterlife. 

http://www.jstor.org/stable/3760412

For more information, see this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtwzHY-7mXo)

If you find Agarikon, please do not pick it ! We need to protect the natural genome. Our studies show that Agarikon's mycelium contains active components, and that Agarikon fruitbody is an astringent, and indeed in high doses may be deleterious or even toxic. We do not yet fully understand the biochemical transformation from the brown to the white form. 

I found the white form featured here laying dead on the ground on my property. The other was given to me by people motivated to save this strain as the old growth forest habitats are threatened. Those from European and North American heritages have long used this mushroom for thousands of years. When possible, we leave the specimens in the old growth forests, unless they are about to be logged. We take a tiny fragment of tissue for tissue culture. Having 73 strains of Agarikon in culture represents a lifetime of searching and is a rich genomic library to pass down to future generations. As habitats are lost, so are strains of species. We are interested in create a vast genomic library of Agarikon strains to preserve its ancient mycodiversity. We GPS locate strains and leave conks in the old growth forest whenever possible." P.S.

Viking Swords Amanita handles

"The Norse warriors were, according to legend, fierce fighters who were able to vanquish enemies with a fury in battle that gave rise to the term 'bizerk'. Some think their fury was because of their use of Amanita muscaria; others vociferously dispute this. But.....I find that the handles of their swords bear a remarkable, and in some cases, taxonomically correct depictions of this mushroom. A coincidence or evidence ? I have eaten this mushroom, and the induced repetitive motion syndrome falls in line with this legend. The doubters might wish to rethink their skeptism, in my humble opinion. " -P.Stamets ~ Fungi.net

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berserker

http://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/viking-berserkers-fierce-warriors-or-drug-fuelled-madmen-001472

The Gordon and Tina Wasson Award: Paul Stamets

Paul Stamets D.Sc. (Hon.), Founder and President of Fungi Perfecti LLC and Host Defense, is the first-ever recipient of the Mycological Society of America’s Gordon and Tina Wasson Award. Named after the late preeminent ethnomycologists, the award is intended “to recognize people with non-traditional academic backgrounds who have made outstanding contributions to the field of mycology, or who have widely transmitted significant scientific or aesthetic knowledge about fungi to the general public.” More information can be found in the July 2015 issue of Inoculum, newsletter of the Mycological Society of America.

"In summary Paul Stamets is a highly original, self-trained member of the mycological community who has had a huge and sustained impact on the field of Mycology. Awarding the first Wasson award to him sets a high bar for the future. It also allows us to recognize a member of our field that the general public and AAAS have already identified as a leader and spokesperson. Sincere congratulations are due to Paul!"  

"I am deeply honored to be the first Wasson Award recipient. The field of mycology is so critical to saving biospheres – yet underfunded, underrecognized and underestimated.  Fungi engage in keystone roles in supporting ecosystem health and biodiversity. Recognitions like this inspire us all to bring mycology to the forefront of public and scientific consciousness. Scientists across disciplines need to work together as we all have pieces of a very grand puzzle. We walk this mycelial path of life together but time is critically short for us to make a difference.  In gratitude and respect, Paul."

"Shiitake mushrooms as a carbon scaffolding for high performance supercapacitor electrodes !" New potential for energy storage.

"Shiitake mushrooms as a carbon scaffolding for high performance supercapacitor electrodes !"  New potential for energy storage. 

".The resulting carbon is comprised of abundant micro-, mesopores and interconnected macropores that has a specific surface area up to 2988 m2 g1 and pore volume of 1.76 cm3 g1

The far superior performance as compared with those of the commercially most used activated carbon RP20 in both aqueous and non-aqueous electrolyte demonstrates its great potential as highperformance supercapacitor electrode. 

"Hierarchically porous carbon by activation of shiitake mushroom for capacitive energy storage" by  Ping Cheng, Shuangyan Gao, Peiyu Zang, Xiaofan Yang, Yonglong Bai, Hua Xu, Zonghuai Liu, Zhibin Lei * School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shaanxi Normal University, 620 West Chang’an Street, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710119, China ARTICLE INFO Article history: Received 29 January 2015 Accepted 13 May 2015 Available online 22 May 2015 ABSTRACT

 

 We present a facile yet effective two-step activation method to prepare a hierarchically porous carbon with natural shiitake mushroom as the starting materials. The first step involves the activation of shiitake mushroom with H3PO4, while the second step is to further activate the product with KOH.The resulting carbon is comprised of abundant micro-, mesopores and interconnected macropores that has a specific surface area up to 2988 m2 g1 and pore volume of 1.76 c   m3 g1 . With the unique porous nature, the carbon exhibited a specific capacitance of 306 and 149 F g1 in aqueous and organic electrolyte, respectively. Moreover, this carbon also shows a high capacitance retention of 77% at large current density of 30 A g1 and exhibited an outstanding cycling stability with 95.7% capacitance preservation after 15,000 cycles in 6 M KOH electrolyte. The far superior performance as compared with those of the commercially most used activated carbon RP20 in both aqueous and non-aqueous electrolyte demonstrates its great potential as highperformance supercapacitor electrode. The two-step method developed herein also represents a very attractive approach for scalable production of various functional carbon materials using diverse biomasses as starting materials."

Sources:

Mass Extinction underway but fungi can help ! You can help fungi help save the Earth's rich biospheres

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES: Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction

Gerardo Ceballos,1 * Paul R. Ehrlich,2 Anthony D. Barnosky,3 Andrés García,4 Robert M. Pringle,5 Todd M. Palmer6

The oft-repeated claim that Earth’s biota is entering a sixth “mass extinction” depends on clearly demonstrating that current extinction rates are far above the “background” rates prevailing in the five previous mass extinctions. Earlier estimates of extinction rates have been criticized for using assumptions that might overestimate the severity of the extinction crisis. We assess, using extremely conservative assumptions, whether human activities are causing a mass extinction. First, we use a recent estimate of a background rate of 2 mammal extinctions per 10,000 species per 100 years (that is, 2 E/MSY), which is twice as high as widely used previous estimates. We then compare this rate with the current rate of mammal and vertebrate extinctions. The latter is conservatively low because listing a species as extinct requires meeting stringent criteria. Even under our assumptions, which would tend to minimize evidence of an incipient mass extinction, the average rate of vertebrate species loss over the last century is up to 114 times higher than the background rate. Under the 2 E/MSY background rate, the number of species that have gone extinct in the last century would have taken, depending on the vertebrate taxon, between 800 and 10,000 years to disappear. These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way. Averting a dramatic decay of biodiversity and the subsequent loss of ecosystem services is still possible through intensified conservation efforts, but that window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

Source: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/5/e1400253

 

A Few Ways Fungi Can Help Lessen Impact of 6x Extinction

  • fungi decompose dead material and return nutrients to the food web
  • through decompositionfungi create and thicken soils 
  • fungal networks multidirectionally distribute nutrients to diverse communities
  • fungi select microbiomes leading to flora growth and fauna support
  • fungi increase moisture carrying capacity
  • fungi prevent erosion
  • fungi breakdown toxins
  • mushrooms are good, healthy substitutes for meat 
  • biodiversity increases
  • zoonotic diseases are kept at bay
  • microclimates are created

 

fungi hold the key !   we need a mycorevolution on a grand scale. 

 

What can you do ? Foremost: Celebrate decomposition ! As a first step, get logs rotting on your property.

For more info: See Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World 

 

Paul Stamets. Earthling. 

Bee Friendly™ Research Update

In our last newsletter you may have read about ourBee Friendly research initiative. This is what we are calling our research, development, and outreach campaign to draw attention to ways that fungi may be able to help reverse the devastating declines in the global bee population. Our approach stems from the philosophy that synergistic problems require outside-the-box thinking to discover synergistic solutions (for more information about our philosophy and approach, see Newsletter #5.)

Apis mellifera, the Western HoneyBee

Over the past year, Fungi Perfecti, LLC has partnered with the Honey Bee Laboratory at Washington State University to research ways to use beneficial fungi to improve honey bee health. Scientists Walter S. Sheppard, PhD and Brandon K. Hopkins, PhD have begun preliminary bench-scale testing on two “MycoBee” approaches with generous financial support provided by the WWW foundation, Lee and June Stein, Paul Stamets, and Fungi Perfecti.

In the first set of bench-scale experiments, extracts of seven species of polypore fungi were fed to groups of caged honey bees to determine the effect of fungal extracts on captive life span and viral burden. For each type of extract, mixed aged honey bees from a single hive were collected on a single day and distributed at random into 16 cages of roughly 100 bees each. Each set of 16 consisted of four control cages (fed sugar syrup), four low concentration cages (fed mycelium extract in sugar syrup at 0.1% v/v), four medium concentration cages (fed mycelium extract in sugar syrup at 1% v/v), and four high concentration cages (fed mycelium extract in sugar syrup at 10% v/v). In each group of four cages, three cages were used for longevity tests and the remaining replicate cage was used for total viral particle testing.

The preliminary results suggest that fungal species and feeding concentrations vary considerably in their effect on honey bees. Some species, such as the Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) had no detectible effect on captive longevity at any concentration, while others, such as the red-belted polypore mushroom (Fomitopsis pinicola), appear to improve captive lifespan and may decrease viral burden at certain concentrations (see figure). Additional experiments to confirm or refute these initial findings are currently underway and the research will be submitted to peer-reviewed journals for publication as results warrant.

A second set of bench-scale experiments is currently underway where the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is being investigated for its ability to control Varroa mite populations using non-spore-based delivery systems and mechanisms of action. While promising for its paradigm-altering potential for beekeeping, this research poses much greater logistical and scientific challenges for demonstrating efficacy and practicality than the longevity and antiviral research.

 

Female Varroa destructor mite on the head of a honeybee nymph. By Gilles San Martin from Namur, Belgium (CC BY-SA 2.0), via Wikimedia Commons.

Over the past ten years, Fungi Perfecti has developed novel approaches to fungal biocontrol, which have resulted in several proprietary technologies.[i],[ii],[iii],[iv]These approaches include the preparation of fungal extracts to limit the spread of zoonotic diseases such as bee viruses, the development of fungal biocontrols that use “pre-sporulating” mycelium, and the use of extracts of entomopathogenic fungi as insect attractants. While developing Metarhizium anisopliae as a Varroa mite biocontrol product poses significant challenges, the strategic application of Fungi Perfecti’s original innovations may help turn the tide on this important research.

First, research with social insects has generally demonstrated that the presence of fungal spores induces specialized grooming behaviors designed to remove and limit transmission of potentially dangerous fungal pathogens.[v] This effect may partly explain why other researchers’ efforts to apply Metarhizium spores to bee hives to control Varroa mites have failed to provide effective control. Counter-intuitively, the pre-conidial (non-sporulating) mycelium of the same fungal species has powerful insect attractant properties.[vi]

Second, the use of dehydrated pre-conidial mycelium as a biocontrol delivery system may reduce the germination time required for spore-based approaches. Metarhiziumspores generally require approximately 18 to 48 hours to germinate, and three to ten days to infect and kill Varroa mites.[vii] Notably, research by James demonstrated that spore germination rates decrease exponentially upon introduction to bee hive temperatures.[viii] The combination of these limitations points to a fundamental problem with the status-quo approach of applying spores as Varroa treatment. In contrast, dehydrated and powdered pre-conidial mycelium (aka hyphal fragments) of thermotolerant Metarhizium strains, may be able to resume active growth more quickly after re-hydration than spores. This approach is expected to significantly reduce issues of timing, concentration, and loss of viability after application in a hive.

In line with our multidisciplinary and synergistic philosophy for developing fungal-inspired treatments for improving bee health, our future research goals include:

  • Development of concentrated fungal extracts that can selectively reduce honey bee viral burden when fed in sugar solution.
  • Development of effective and practical Varroa mite control products.
  • Testing the effect of fungal extracts on honey bee detoxicification pathways including cytochrome p450-mediated pesticide detoxification.
  • Controlled field-scale testing and beta testing of bee health products after bench-scale optimization of preparations and application methods.

The research-to-date has been made possible by the generous support of individuals, companies, and private foundations. Continued financial support of the WSU Honey Bee Research Laboratory makes this novel research possible. If you would like to contribute to this research, donations to WSU can be made securely online here:

 

Just write “for honey bee fungus research” in the comments section.

Alternatively, checks can be sent directly to the bee program with a letter explaining the intent of the donation. Make checks payable to “Department of Entomology, WSU”:

                PO Box 646382
                Attention: Adam WIlliams
                Department of Entomology
                Washington State University
                Pullman, WA 99164-6382


And of course, your continued support of Fungi Perfecti allows us to reinvest into research efforts such as this. Many thanks to all of you who aid us in these endeavors!

[i] Stamets, P. 2014. U.S. Patent # 8,765,138. “Antiviral and antibacterial activity from medicinal mushrooms.”

[ii] Stamets, P. 2014. U.S. Patent # 8,753,656. “Compositions for controlling disease vectors from insects and arthropods using preconidial mycelium and extracts of preconidial mycelium from entomopathogenic fungi.”

[iii] Stamets, P. 2015. U.S. Patent Application # 14/641,432: “Integrative fungal solutions for protecting bees.” Filed March 8, 2015.

[iv] Stamets, P. 2013. U.S. Patent # 8,501,207. “Mycoattractants and mycopesticides.”

[v] Reber A., Purcell J., Buechel S.D., Buri P., Chapuisat M. 2011. The expression and impact of antifungal grooming in ants. J. Evol. Biol. 24, 954–964.

[vi] Stamets, P. 2013. U.S. Patent # 8,501,207. “Mycoattractants and mycopesticides.”

[vii] Kanga LHB, Jones WA, Garcia C. 2006. Efficacy of strips coated with Metarhizium anisopliae for control ofVarroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in honey bee colonies in Texas and Florida. Exp. Appl Acarol. 40:249-258. DOI 10.1007/s10493-006-9033-2.

[viii] James R.L. 2009. “Microbial Control for Invasive Arthropod Pests of Honey Bees,” in: Progress in Biological Control Volume 6 - Use of Microbes for Control and Eradication of Invasive Arthropods, Eds: Hajek A.E., Glare T.R., O’Callaghan M. Springer Science+Business Media B.V.