#022: Nematode-Trapping Fungi

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  1. March 16, 2018

    […] One of the interesting things about P. ostreatus is that it attacks and kills nematodes. When nematodes are present, the Oyster Mushroom’s hyphae produce many sticky knobs on the sides of the cells. These secrete nematotoxic chemicals that paralyze and kill the nematodes. The fungus then produces specialized hyphae that penetrate and digest the worms. There are two reasons that the fungus would do this. First, it is a defense mechanism that prevents the nematodes from feeding on the fungal cells. Second, the nematodes supply an extra source of nitrogen. The fungus does not need an extra food source, but nitrogen is often in short supply in long-dead material.6,7 (For more on fungi that eat nematodes, see FFF#022.) […]

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