Re: Science Daily~Scientifically Rethinking Fungi's Abilitie
Posted by Deborah on 3/19/10
Benlate. I recall FF referring to that in detail and to this
very issue. He had loads of info on this.
M o n s a n t o is taking a lot of heat, more international
On 3/18/10, Sharon wrote:
> Yes. Of course the chemicals have helped to cause mutations
> the fungi. Benelate is one example that has caused dominate
> strains of aspergillus. That was a major problem with the
> in Florida several years back. Round-up was another named of
> causes similar effects (but I don't know that one in detail).
> These chemists seem to forget that fungi, bacteria and viruses
> are living substances who want to survive just as much as any
> other living thing. Of course they fight back and change with
> each threat thrown at them.
> That paper that was published in Nature had MANY researchers
> who reached it conclusions. Its cites something like 20
> authors and contributors.
> On 3/18/10, Deborah wrote:
>> Thanks Sharon, that is an very interesting article. I
>> suspected this but had no way to verify.
>> I wonder if unleashing so many chemicals into the world has
>> had anything to do with their increased rate of adaptability
>> and transference.
>> On 3/18/10, Sharon wrote:
>>> "..this study we found fungi able to transfer an infectious
>>> capability to a different strain in a single generation,"
>>> he said. "We've probably underestimated this phenomenon,
>>> and it indicates that fungal strains may become pathogenic
>>> faster than we used to think possible."
>>> "..suggests that fungi have the capacity to rapidly change
>>> the make-up of their genomes and become infectious to
>>> plants and possibly animals, including humans."
>>> "...evolution of virulence in fungal strains that was once
>>> believed to be slow has now been shown to occur quickly,
>>> and may force a renewed perspective on how fungi can
>>> behave, change and transfer infectious abilities."
>>> ScienceDaily (Mar. 17, 2010) — Fungi have significant
>>> potential for "horizontal" gene transfer, a new study has
>>> shown, similar to the mechanisms that allow bacteria to
>>> evolve so quickly, become resistant to antibiotics and
>>> cause other serious problems.
>>> This discovery, to be published March 18 in the journal
>>> Nature, suggests that fungi have the capacity to rapidly
>>> change the make-up of their genomes and become infectious
>>> to plants and possibly animals, including humans.
>>> They are not nearly as confined to the more gradual
>>> processes of conventional evolution as had been believed,
>>> scientists say. And this raises issues not only for crop
>>> agriculture but also human health, because fungi are much
>>> closer on the "evolutionary tree" to humans than bacteria,
>>> and consequently fungal diseases are much more difficult to
>>> The genetic mechanisms fungi use to do this are different
>>> than those often used by bacteria, but the end result can
>>> be fairly similar. The evolution of virulence in fungal
>>> strains that was once believed to be slow has now been
>>> shown to occur quickly, and may force a renewed perspective
>>> on how fungi can behave, change and transfer infectious
>>> "Prior to this we've believed that fungi were generally
>>> confined to vertical gene transfer or conventional
>>> inheritance, a slower type of genetic change based on the
>>> interplay of DNA mutation, recombination and the effects of
>>> selection," said Michael Freitag, an assistant professor of
>>> biochemistry and biophysics at Oregon State University.
>>> "But in this study we found fungi able to transfer an
>>> infectious capability to a different strain in a single
>>> generation," he said. "We've probably underestimated this
>>> phenomenon, and it indicates that fungal strains may become
>>> pathogenic faster than we used to think possible."
>>> Researchers from the Center for Genome Research and
>>> Biocomputing at OSU collaborated on this study with a large
>>> international group of scientists, including principal
>>> investigators from The Broad Institute in Massachusetts,
>>> the University of Amsterdam, and the USDA Agricultural
>>> Research Service at the University of Minnesota.
>>> Bacteria use "horizontal" genetic transfer through
>>> chromosomes and DNA plasmids to change quickly, which is
>>> one reason that antibiotic resistance can often develop.
>>> This capability was believed to be possible, but rare, in
>>> fungi. In the new study, based on a genome-wide analysis of
>>> three Fusarium species, it was shown experimentally that
>>> complete chromosomes were being transferred between
>>> different fungal strains, along with the ability to cause
>>> infection. Various Fusarium fungi can infect both plants
>>> and humans.
>>> In humans, fungal infections are less common than those
>>> caused by bacteria, but can be stubborn and difficult to
>>> treat -- in part, because fungi are far more closely
>>> related to animals, including humans, than are bacteria.
>>> That limits the types of medical treatments that can be
>>> used against them. Fungal infections are also a serious
>>> problem in people with compromised immune systems,
>>> including AIDS patients, and can be fatal.
>>> According to Freitag, this new understanding of fungal
>>> genetics and evolution is great news.
>>> For one thing, it may help researchers to better understand
>>> the types of fungal strains that are most apt to develop
>>> resistance to fungicides, and help crop scientists develop
>>> approaches to minimize that problem.
>>> Fungal diseases are a major problem in crop agriculture,
>>> and billions of dollars are spent around the world every
>>> year to combat new and emerging fungal pathogens in plants,
>>> animals and humans.
>>> On a more basic level, this study provides evidence that
>>> the "tree of life," with one trunk and many branches, is
>>> outdated. It should be replaced by a "network of life" in
>>> which many horizontal connections occur between different
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