Australian fungi implicated in the extraction of gold

By Nik735 | nik168 | 2 Aug 2019


Mushroom Fusarium (Fusárium oxýsporum), the mycelium of which are found in warm and moist soil of all continents of the Earth, has an extremely unusual ability for terrestrial life. As found by Australian mycologists, being in an environment rich in gold, the fungus somehow separates it from the water and soil and precipitates itself in the form of very small plaques, giving the mycelium a characteristic Golden color

This ability in itself is extremely unexpected, if only because gold is an extremely inactive metal. To dissolve it in a chemical laboratory needs Royal vodka — a mixture of concentrated hydrochloric and nitric acids. In fungi it is clearly not, but they managed to incorporate gold in your metabolism.

Fungi secrete highly reactive hydrogen peroxide molecules that cause gold - based compounds to oxidize. Gold is transformed into ions, which settle in the form of pure metal. If you look at the mushrooms Fusarium oxysporum under a microscope, you can see the shiny particles dotting their surface — this is pure gold

Gold plaques under the microscope


It is not clear how exactly mushrooms use precious metal, but it is clear that the benefits of it are. They enriched the mycelium grow faster and wider than normal.

Scientists suggest that the unusual ability of the fungus in the future can be used in the search for new gold deposits. Unfortunately, the mushroom can not create gold from nothing, so its cultivation where the precious metal is clearly not, no wealth promises.

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