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Fungi that contribute greenhouse gases to the atmosphere

 
Bryant RedHawk
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N2O is a powerful greenhouse gas contributing both to global warming and ozone depletion. While fungi
have been identified as a putative source of N2O, little is known about their production of this greenhouse
gas. Here we investigated the N2O-producing ability of a collection of 207 fungal isolates. Seventy strains
producing N2O in pure culture were identified. They were mostly species from the order Hypocreales
order—particularly Fusarium oxysporum and Trichoderma spp.—and to a lesser extent species from the
orders Eurotiales, Sordariales, and Chaetosphaeriales. The N2O 15N site preference (SP) values of the fungal
strains ranged from 15.8% to 36.7%, and we observed a significant taxa effect, with Penicillium strains
displaying lower SP values than the other fungal genera. Inoculation of 15 N2O-producing strains into
pre-sterilized arable, forest and grassland soils confirmed the ability of the strains to produce N2O in soil
with a significant strain-by-soil effect. The copper-containing nitrite reductase gene (nirK) was amplified
from 45 N2O-producing strains, and its genetic variability showed a strong congruence with the ITS
phylogeny, indicating vertical inheritance of this trait. Taken together, this comprehensive set of findings
should enhance our knowledge of fungi as a source of N2O in the environment.

Read the full paper here greenhouse gas from fungi
 
John Saltveit
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Thanks for furthering our knowledge of greenhouse gases, Bryant. Hopefully, we can find a way to mitigate this effect while preserving the diversity of our fungi.
John S
PDX OR
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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On the lighter side, we should find these strains and capture the N2O and huff it, nitrous oxide is commonly called laughing gas.
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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One wonders why we would be concerned with mitigating natural sources of atmospheric gasses. Is there something that we have done to amplify the population of these particular organisms?
Are we locked onto the idea that "greenhouse gasses" are "bad" to the extent that even normal, healthy ecosystem processes are becoming suspect?

Is it a red herring? "Look, see here? These fungi produce more greenhouse gas than our coal plants! Stop the Fungi, they're destroying our climate! Don't blame our coal powered electric generating plants..."

I am all in favor of more knowledge and more understanding, but I have concerns when research projects use loaded terms, such as "greenhouse gas".
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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It has been shown that N2O is more destructive to the Ozone layer than CO, which was thought to be the main culprit.
This is not a "smoking gun" it is simply new findings that point to other things that contribute to the depletion of the one layer that protects organisms from excessive UV radiation, which is of concern.
I find the report interesting and enlightening from the POV of being a skin cancer patient, I do not put this forth as an "OMG, we have to do something". It is however good to be informed, that way if politics decides to use it as a weapon of choice when trying to pass restrictive legislation, we will at least be able to put forth the "HOLD ON THERE" response.
I seriously doubt that eliminating the particular sets of species of fungi that have been found to produce this by product would have any great effect.
On the other hand, our current methods of producing Nitrous Oxide gas for medical uses is also leaking contaminates into the atmosphere.
From that respect, we now have data showing we could simply collect the gas with out going through a manufacturing process.
 
james Apodaca
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:
I seriously doubt that eliminating the particular sets of species of fungi that have been found to produce this by product would have any great effect.
On the other hand, our current methods of producing Nitrous Oxide gas for medical uses is also leaking contaminates into the atmosphere.
From that respect, we now have data showing we could simply collect the gas with out going through a manufacturing process.


Absolutely. My first instinct with anything is the "Hold on there" approach. Going full-on catastrophe on new scientific findings based on emotional hysteria is a recipe for disaster.
Defining something as producing, or exhibiting behavior, that is detrimental to the environment isn't a laudable achievement of science for me..
Just an anecdotal observational curiosity to be mulled over. I don't see it being a decisive victory in the overall debate towards the issue of Ozone depletion.
When I'm in a controlled environment and fed a different uniform source of food than I'm used to I produce unnatural gasses in increased quantities as well..

I'm more interested in what I am doing to promote environmental decay than anything else. There's a reason mushrooms do what they do and they achieve success more efficiently than we could ever hope to.
And if it's exudates could be used to further aid humanity in it's quest for world domination.. then, well.. Hey.. This is beneficial but there's still work to be done.
If it's the N2O gas that becomes notable or if they are producing it in the process of breaking down other hazardous materials not sampled in the report..
 
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