Episode Summary

Bacteria protect farmed mushrooms from damage by other bacteria by breaking down their toxins!

Microbe of the episode

Microbe of the episode: Tomato mosaic virus

Jesse's takeaways

Almost all organisms are vulnerable to pathogenic microbes that make them sick or cause damage. Most also have other microbes that help them grow better or protect them from pathogens. This includes animals, plants, and also fungi.

In this study, bacterial pathogens produce a toxin that causes button mushrooms to turn brown and rot. However, other bacteria can degrade this toxin and protect the fungus, and can also degrade molecules the pathogens produce to help them swarm to new places, restricting their movement.

Journal Paper

Hermenau R, Kugel S, Komor AJ, Hertweck C. 2020. Helper bacteria halt and disarm mushroom pathogens by linearizing structurally diverse cyclolipopeptides. Proc Natl Acad Sci 117:23802–23806.

Subscribe (free) on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, RSS, or by email.

Support the show at Patreon. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.

Porous interior of bone