Monday, January 28, 2008

A small new mushroom is a big deal to science

From the Rogue River in Oregon comes news of a new species of mushroom that breaks boundaries for its genus by living underwater. Psathyrella aquatic looks like a common land-living gilled mushroom, about 10 cm high, but mycologists know of no mushroom, past or present, that grows underwater. Oregon State University’s Matt Trappe enthused, "We're not aware of anything at all like this in mycology where the reproductive mushroom structure appears to be perennially underwater. If this evolved in Oregon, what are the odds it can be found in streams and rivers around the world? This raises all kinds of questions about spore disbursement and evolution."

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