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WSU News fungi

Research identifies new fungi causing ugly disease in peonies

By Seth Truscott, College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences

peony bud with fungusPULLMAN, Wash. – Pacific Northwest farmers have found success growing peonies for a thriving global market. But a devastating fungus called Botrytis is limiting market growth and profits for Northwest farmers. » More …

‘Mushroom queen’ hunts fungus among us

Carris, left, shows students the fruiting body of a Fomitopsis pinicola fungus growing on a tree.

By Linda Weiford, WSU News

PULLMAN, Wash. – October marks the peak of wild mushroom picking in the Northwest, and a Washington State University plant pathologist nicknamed the “mushroom queen” is just the person you’d want in tow. She can keep you from getting lost in the woods and from eating a mushroom that tastes bad – or worse, one that will make you sick. » More …

Fungi can benefit gardens, forest

Amanita mushroom photo

Amanita mushroom. Photo courtesy of WSU Extension.

EVERETT, Wash. – From garden to farm to forest, learn how to put fungi to work growing healthier plants.

Did you know that almost 90 percent of all plants form a beneficial or symbiotic relationship with a fungus? These mycorrhizal fungi colonize plant roots and extend their root systems into the surrounding soil, improving the ability of plants to take up available nutrients as well as other benefits.

Learn the many benefits of fungi a WSU Extension class titled ‘My O’ Mycorrhiza: The Relationship of … » More …

Discovery bolsters battle against bacteria and fungi

PULLMAN — Scientists at Washington State University in Pullman have discovered a molecule that plays a role in the battle plants must win against bacteria and fungi that would eat them for lunch.The group led by Professor Clarence A. “Bud” Ryan isolated a small protein called Pep1 that appears to act like a hormone, signaling to the rest of the plant to raise its defenses at the first sign of an infection. They also discovered the receptor protein to which Pep1 binds to exert its protective effects.Pep1 was isolated from the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, which is a species favored by investigators for attributes that facilitate … » More …