"Not funny, Cowboy Bob!"
Right, I'd better get on with it.
There's a ground fungus known as Talaromyces flavus that actually "knows" how to get what it needs when it encounters iron: it essentially mines it.
|Original image source: Clker clipart|
What happens when a soil fungus runs into a hard mineral containing precious trace amounts of nutritious iron? A poorly designed fungus might go hungry and languish like a forlorn noodle, but researchers recently found ways that a soil fungus conducts a miniature mining operation. The details reveal a well-designed suite of fungal features that need a reasonable explanation.To read the rest, click on "Iron-mining Fungus Displays Surprising Design". This would be a good place for a joke on the subject, but I'm a little rusty.
Chinese investigators experimented on the soil fungus Talaromyces flavus that came from a serpentinite mine in Donghai, China. They used various techniques to assess exactly what goes on when the feeding fungus touches a green mineral called lizardite—a unique mineral found in serpentinite rocks. The researchers published their finds in the journal Geology.