Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Fungi for Christmas!

The image below is my Christmas card to you all.  I didn't create it - the image has been doing the rounds on a science website, but it is truly a microbiologist's Christmas card.

For those who are interested, the Petri dish was seeded with the following:
Top: Talaromyces stipitatus; Tree: Aspergillus nidulans; Ornaments: Penicillium marneffei; Trunk: Aspergillus terreus
Not all of these are likely to be found in food -  T. stipitatus was isolated from rotting wood and can produce some interesting enzymes that may have application in the agri-food industries, P. maneffei can cause human disease, mainly in HIV patients.  A. nidulans was probably one of the first fungi I studied as a microbiology undergraduate, and has been very important in the study of recombination, DNA repair and experimental evolution.

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