Fusarium oxysporum, a gold collecting fungus has recently been discovered by scientists in Australia. Now, we have realized that the fungus also has a gold standard.
What is Fusarium oxysporum?
Scientists are surprised after finding a pink fluffy fungus across the mining area. Later on, they realized that this tiny being is literally a gold-digger. It has been collecting tiny particles of hold along with it in the thread-like strands. Besides, scientists also discovered that it extends into soil.
Fungus that draws gold from its surroundings has been discovered in Western Australia and could help miners find the next generation of underground gold deposits via @SmithsonianMag https://t.co/tvMcE4Pqis
— Australia in the US (@AusintheUS) May 28, 2019
The gold digger is known as Fusarium oxysporum. As per the study, it has a habit to grow larger and spread faster than any other fungi. However, humans cannot see the fungi from their naked eyes. So the researchers created highly magnified images of Fusarium oxysporum by using a scanning electron microscope.
Scientists discover fungus that collects gold from its environment. https://t.co/gdDHdU8Jc1
— Smithsonian Magazine (@SmithsonianMag) May 28, 2019
The image clearly reveals tiny bits of gold embellished on the fungus’s tendrils. The researchers wrote that the fungus collects gold particles through chemical reactions. Later on, it dissolves the gold particles and creates another chemical to solidify the gold. It encrusts the gold around the fungal threads.
However, the scientists are still trying to find out how the fungus can identify gold, and what benefit does it get through such decorations. The mechanisms of how it works are still unclear.
Statement of Tsing Bohu
Tsing Bohu is a geomicrobiologist at Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO. His team believes that gold serves as a catalyst to digest carbon food. It is surprising for most of the scientists and researchers because gold is a chemically inactive metal. Furthermore, he stated that researchers are hoping to use the fungus as a tracker in the future.