Mushrooms natural nematode killers: study

Taipei Times
Date: May 23, 2020
By: Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporter

Academia Sinica Institute of Molecular Biology assistant research fellow Hsueh Yen-ping, front row, center, and her research team pose for a group photograph at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

Nematode-trapping fungi have been found to be natural killers of nematodes and their mechanisms might facilitate the development of new drugs or biological control agents, an Academia Sinica researcher said yesterday.

Mostly measuring less than 1mm, nematodes are found in soil worldwide and most are not visible to the naked eye, Academia Sinica Institute of Molecular Biology assistant research fellow Hsueh Yen-ping (薛雁冰) told a news conference in Taipei.

Some nematodes can cause infections in humans or damage plants, but existing pesticides, such as ivermectin, aldicarb and levamisole, can only inhibit their activity and the poisons’ efficacy are declining due to their wide use over the past few decades, she said.

Hsueh’s team found that oyster mushrooms, when starving, prey on nematodes by producing potent toxins that can paralyze them within minutes.    [FULL  STORY]

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