Why Some Mushrooms Glow in the Dark (NPR)


Dartmouth’s Jay Dunlap and colleagues from Brazil’s Instituto de Quimica-Universidade de Sao Paulo have published a new study that takes a look at why mushrooms glow, reports NPR.

The researchers found that one particular mushroom—the Neonothopanus gardneri found in the coconut forests of Brazilcan actually control when it glows.

“We found that light was made mostly at night, and not mostly during the day,” says Dunlap, a professor of genetics and of biochemistry at the Geisel School of Medicine.

By glowing, the mushroom “lures bugs that then spread the mushroom’s spores throughout the dense forest, where there’s little wind,” NPR explains.

Listen to the full story, broadcast 3/21/15 on NPR.

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