Mysterious but extremely useful mushrooms are neither plants nor animals
Scientists claim that fungi communicate with each other using signals. The scientists further established that the dictionary (lexicon) of mushrooms contains about 50 words. Researchers have learned to eavesdrop on mushrooms. They say that the signals exchanged by fungi are structurally similar to human signals. Biologists investigated the behavior of 4 types of mushrooms (enoki, split gills, duha and cordiceps sinensis). They inserted microelectrodes into a substrate colonized by mushroom mycelium. They analyzed the transmission of electrical impulses over a long period of time. It turns out that mushrooms exchange signals very actively. They transmit impulses to each other through the so-called “hyphae”. A hypha is a filamentous structure in mushrooms, consisting of many cells or containing many nuclei. The main function of the hypha is the absorption of water and nutrients. Now it turns out that hyphae are also responsible for communication between mushrooms.
Scientists have performed a mathematical analysis of electrical impulses. They concluded that mushroom signals are similar to human signals. Researchers have discovered that some mushrooms use up to 50 words. It has been noted that the average length of the word mushroom is 5 to 6 letters. Moreover, mushrooms can form sentences.
The transmission of electrical impulses took place differently in different mushrooms. According to scientists, the “split gills” mushroom was the most social mushroom. This mushroom created the most complex sentences in communication with other mushrooms. Mushrooms, however, don’t have many topics to talk about. They usually pass on information to each other about various types of damage or about food.
Scientists are delighted with the results of the study. They plan to continue research. It is quite possible that some mushrooms already have a high level of communication, given that there are 50,000 types of mushrooms in the world.
Mushrooms are neither plants nor animals as is already known. Scientists are still debating the mysterious characteristics of mushrooms. Some say that mushrooms contain plant hormones and therefore belong to the flora. While mushrooms are considered part of the fauna by some others due to the presence of melanin, enzymes and a cell wall made of chitin (the material from which the shells of crabs, spiders and many insects are made).
Mushrooms are the most widespread organisms in the world.
Mushrooms have survived global cataclysms and outlived countless species of plants and animals during millions of years of existence. Mushrooms were even found in the reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (in Ukraine). Radiation does not bother mushrooms at all. On the contrary, the radiation seems to promote mushroom growth. Some types of mushrooms can be grown in extreme conditions (in space, in sulfuric acid and under high pressure).
Mushrooms have been used since ancient times as a raw material for medicinal purposes and the preparation of various preparations and effective medicines. The puffball mushroom Lycoperdon perlatum) is used to prepare salves for healing wounds and treating skin cancer, champignons are used to make tinctures against tuberculosis, morel mushrooms are considered the best means for improving eyesight and preventing cataracts, chanterelles are consumed for their antiparasitic effect, shiitake prevents diabetes and the like. Even today, mushrooms are used for food and in the treatment of many diseases.
Phytotherapists recommend including mushrooms in diet and menus, as well as making mushroom tea.
Constant temperature, good compost, prevention of drafts, and good hygiene of the whole process are the most important for growing mushrooms. Today, mushrooms are cultivated on all continents. They are available throughout the year.
For example, mushroom caps should be pebble-colored and smooth (without darker spots or wet spots) when buying oyster mushrooms. White scum may appear on the oysters (which should be scraped off before use) due to prolonged storage.
Oyster mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, champignons and other types of mushrooms are mysteriously unique and delicious. They are often considered a type of vegetable (even prepared as a vegetable). Mushrooms are actually a very special kind of living organisms that have no root, no leaf, no flower and no seed.