The University of Manchester has been working on new man-made materials that can fool harmful wheat spores into growing on a different host. These materials can be used in agriculture to protect crops from contamination and to aid in the production of safe food. This research has been made possible by collaboration with international partners in the minerals processing industry and electronic industry. It has led to the development of inexpensive disposable in-field biosensors which can detect infections in real time.
What you should know about mushroom spores?
British soldier lichen is a fungus with red tops, which produce spores. The spores do not carry alga, but are spread by broken pieces of the fungus that travel by wind, gravity and other animals. Several varieties of this fungus are known in the UK, with the species distribution largely limited to the northern parts of the UK.
The scientists at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) worked to visualise structural changes in the spores as they underwent germination. They also found that the fungus was closely related to Clostridium botulinum and could cause significant food spoilage. Therefore, further research is needed to determine how to prevent these spores from affecting human health.
UK spores at different temperatures undergo different phases. At 20 degC, spores took around 20 min to undergo the lag phase. After this time, the spores reached their constant grey level. This time span was reduced to six to ninety minutes following heat activation.