New Glowing Mushrooms Found in Brazil

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

New Glowing Mushrooms Found in Brazil:

Like a black light poster come to life, a group of bioluminescent fungi collected from Ribeira Valley Tourist State Park near São Paulo, Brazil, emanates a soft green glow when the lights go out.

The mushrooms are part of the genus Mycena, a group that includes about 500 species worldwide. Of these only 33 are known to be bioluminescent — capable of producing light through a chemical reaction.

Since 2002 Cassius Stevani, professor of chemistry at the University of São Paulo; Dennis Desjardin, professor of mycology at San Francisco State University in California; and Marina Capelari of Brazil’s Institute of Botany have discovered ten more bioluminescent fungi species — four of which are new to science — in Brazil’s tropical forests.

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