There are millions of different species of fungi in the world and many of them play a very important role in ecosystems. We now know more about one mechanism in fungi.
Scientists from Japan have studied how fungi can squeeze through tiny holes – like pores in plant leaves. They grew seven different species in a system that contained all microtubules. Some of the tunnels were smaller than the average fungus tentacles. They followed the growth of the fungi, among other things, by following fluorescent proteins in real time, and then looked at how each type of fungi handles the tiny tunnels.
They saw that one group of fungi adapted easily to the limited space, while the others stopped growing midway through or past narrow tubes. It turns out that the fast-growing fungus sent a lot of building material to the tips of its growing tentacles, causing it to get trapped. Fast growth may be an advantage in many situations, but when it comes to small holes, slow is the way to go.
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