|Image: Mycologist Paul Stamets|
Folks - In the 1970's, when studying Psilocybes under the Scanning Electron Microscope, I encountered something that still mystifies me and other experts today. This SEM photo is of Psilocybe cubensis spores, which are normally smooth. These nerve-like growths were on all the spores I looked at from only one sample. I reach out for wild speculation, and perhaps a fellow scientist can help. What are these ? A wrinkling of the outer spore coat ? A new life form ? Has anyone seen anything like this before ? Love to hear your ideas !
Thanks, Paul Stamets (Source: Fungi.Net)
|Image: Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1956|
|image: Penn State University|
Clearly you can see where the bean was connected to within the womb of the pod and it is this region where water can penetrate. There is a striking similarity with spores of fungi which are also at one time connected within the enclosure of the fungi fruiting body we call a truffle or perhaps mushroom. Water must somehow penetrate and expand the living tissue within the spore before germination. In the case of mycorrhizal fungi which are often host specific, this is furthered along by chemicals produced by the root cap tip which must come into contact with the spore, releasing the chemical signature which triggers a germination response from the spore. The fungal spore in Paul Stamets example is Psilocybe cubensis. Like many Psilocybe, they break down forest mulch and wood chips and spread very well by landscapers. Many of the tweekers out there will know them by the common name, "Magic Mushrooms" for those psychedelic qualities or properties. Where's a Tower Records store when you need one ?
|image: Paul Stamets|
Many other spores wrinkle as well, but can quickly and easily rehydrate when conditions are favourable. Bacteria can form spores when their environment dries out and then rehydrate when humid conditions reappear.
|credit: Xi Chen/Columbia University|
"As Bacilli bacteria dry out and form spores (shown here), they wrinkle, and as they rehydrate, they swell. A team lead by former Wyss Institute resident scholar Ozgur Sahin harnessed these humidity-driven changes to power an actuator and generate electricity."Ultimately, who knows ? I an aware however that assumptions and assertions are not explanations. Still, I stick with the wrinkles being the result of hydration and rehydration.
Further Interesting Reading References on Fungal Spore Germination
Why Biotechnology should be about Mycorrhizal Fungi and not GMOs
A few more important research studies of GMO Bt toxin effects on Mycorrhizal Fungi germination and colonization & lingering effects in soils and aquatic environments
American Journal of Botany: "Evidence of reduced arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization in multiple lines of Bt maize"
"In a 2011 study “Evidence of reduced arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization in multiple lines of Bt maize”, researchers at Portland State University Tanya E. Cheeke, PhD, Todd N. Rosenstiel, PhD, and Mitchell B. Cruzan, PhD found that the cultivation of GE corn, which expresses the insecticidal soil bacterium Bt, has negative impacts on beneficial soil life. Their findings show a decreased presence of the beneficial fungi in the roots of Bt corn when compared to non-Bt corn. These findings were the first demonstration of a reduction in Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) colonization in multipleBtmaize lines grown under the same experimental conditions and contribute to the growing body of knowledge examining the unanticipated effects ofBtcrop cultivation on nontarget soil organisms."
(2008) "Our experimental systems allowed us to monitor the impact of two Bt corn plants and their residues on AM fungi. Both transgenic plants decreased mycorrhizal colonization by G. mosseae and Bt 11 plant residues negatively affected mycorrhizal establishment by indigenous endophytes after their incorporation into soil. Mycelial growth in the presence of transgenic residues was not affected. Transgenic root exudates and residues incorporated into soil may produce long term effects on soil microbes(Castaldini et al., 2005). Studies on Bt toxin persistence have shown that this protein maintains its activity after absorption to clays or binding to humic acids (Saxena andStotzky 2001) and retains its activity for 234 days (Saxena et al. 1999; Stotzky 2004).Other authors have demonstrated slower litter decomposition for Bt compared with non Bt lines (Flores et al. 2005). It remains to be established whether mycorrhizal colonization is reduced directly by the Bt toxin present in corn litter or indirectly by soil microbial population alterations or by other factors. Moreover, it is possible that prolonged permanence of litter in the soil could significantly affect inoculum potential of mycorrhizal fungi."
Occurrence of maize detritus and a transgenic insecticidal protein (Cry1Ab) within the stream network of an agricultural landscape
"A 2010 study, by University of Notre Dame ecologist Jennifer Tank, PhD and colleagues reveals that streams throughout the Midwest are contaminated with transgenic materials from corn crop byproducts. “We found that corn crop byproducts were common in agricultural streams and that 86 percent of sites contained corn leaves, cobs, husks and/or stalks in the active stream channel,” Dr. Tank said. She continued, “In addition, using a sensitive laboratory test that specifically measures the amount of Cry1Ab protein from Bt corn, we detected Cry1Ab in corn collected from 13 percent of the stream sites. We also detected Cry1Ab dissolved in stream water samples at 23 percent of the sites, even six month after crop harvest."
Take special note in the last two links that the long term presence of Bt Cry1 toxins were so persistent in soils which effected mycorrhizal colonization effects that lasted for as long as 234 days and the second study showing the persistence of GMO crop residues lasting for up to six months in streams and other aquatic habitats throughout the Midwest monocrops growing States. As recommended by these studies, further long term effects should be undertaken, but realistically how likely is that ? This isn't about superior science overcoming the gross imperfections and perceived flaws Nature influenced by some debased philosophical human constructed ideology. This is about an industrial corporate business model monopolizing the global food capabilities and fighting to keep it there.