Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mushrooms. Saving the world one diesel spill at a time.

"Fungi that can clean up fossil fuel spills? It can happen! Paul Stamets, a mycologist dedicated to the preservation of ancient mushroom species, grew a mound of giant oyster mushrooms on a pile of diesel-contaminated soil.

This was an experiment with fungi that break down hydrocarbons such as oil and gasoline. The fungus spores produce an enzyme that denatures hydrocarbon chains, so not only did the mushrooms grow on contaminated soil— they thrived.

Six to eight weeks later, the mushrooms decomposed and flies laid eggs there. Birds came to feed on the fly larvae, and in the process dropped seeds. Grass grew, other insects moved in, and soon what had been a toxic pile of contaminated soil— one which led to a lawsuit and a fine, in fact— was integrated back into a thriving ecosystem."

Source: About My Planet

1 comment:

Mack Shepperson said...

This is incredible! Fungi are known to be resilient organisms, and here they are cleaning up the environment. Imagine what they can do for your body. If they can clean up gasoline-contaminated soil, how much more our bodily toxins?