Here’s why mushrooms glow in the dark

March 19, 2015 5:12 PM

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Did you know that some mushrooms can glow in the dark? It's true: At least 70 species of fungi, all of them gilled mushrooms from the order Agaricales and each from one of four evolutionary lineages, have some kind of bioluminescence or another. According to a study published Thursday in Current Biology, shrooms probably put on these evening light shows in order to attract insects that might carry their spores around.

The researchers were investigating whether or not fungal glow follows a set schedule. Their bioluminescence, which relies on chemical processes inside the mushrooms' cells and presents itself in different parts of the mushroom -- sometimes the thready mycelium that shoots through the dirt like a web...

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