Roridomyces Phyllostachydis: Bioluminescent variety of mushroom

  • IASbaba
  • November 23, 2020
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Roridomyces Phyllostachydis: Bioluminescent variety of mushroom

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Biodiversity

In news

  • A mushroom documentation project in the forests of Northeast India has led to a new discovery: a bioluminescent (light emitting) variety of mushroom.

Key takeaways 

  • The new species — named Roridomyces phyllostachydis — was first sighted in August in Meghalaya’s Mawlynnong in East Khasi Hills district and later at Krang Shuri in West Jaintia Hills district.
  • It is now one among the 97 known species of bioluminescent fungi in the world.
  • The new species is important because it is the first mushroom in the Roridomyces genus to be found in India.
  • It was the only member in its genus to have light emitting from its stipe or stalk.

Important value additions 

  • Bioluminescence is the property of a living organism to produce and emit light.
  • Animals, plants, fungi and bacteria show bioluminescence. 
  • Bioluminescent organisms are usually found in the ocean environments, but they are also found on terrestrial environments.
  • The colour of the light emitted by the organism depends on their chemical properties. 
  • In the case of fungi, the luminescence comes from the enzyme, luciferase.

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