Thursday, August 4, 2011
Largest Fungus: Tropical Chinese fungus set world record
BEIJING, China -- A new giant fungus thought to be at least 20 years old has been found in China; the fruiting body, which is equivalent to the mushrooms produced by other fungi species, is up to 10m long, 80cm wide, and 4.6-5.5cm thick and weighs half a tonne - setting the new world record for for the Largest Fngus.
Photo: The World's Largest fungus was found living under a fallen tree. The entire fungus weighs between 800-1,100 pounds. (enlarge photo)
The previous record holder was a specimen of Rigidoporus ulmarius, a polypore with a pileate fruiting body found in Kew Gardens in the UK in 2003. It measured approximately 150cm in diameter with a circumference of 425cm.
The Guinness world record for the most expensive edible fungus, fetching up to U$3,000 per kilo, was set by The White Truffle (Tuber magnum pico).
Guinness World Records also mentioned that the Chinese matsutake mushrooms (£500 per 1kg; $870 per 2 lb 3 oz) - are so precious, they are harvested under guard; they were used in the recipe for the World's Most Expensive Pie.
The first example of the new giant fungus was recorded by scientists in 2008 in Fujian Province, China, by Professor Yu-Cheng Dai of the Herbarium of biology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shenyang and his assistant Dr Cui.
"But the type collection was not huge," BBC quoted Dai as saying.owever, "we found [the] giant one in Hainan Province in 2010."
The researchers were in the field studying wood-decaying fungi when they happened upon the specimen.
"We were not specifically looking for this fungus; we did not know the fungus can grow so huge," he said.
"We were surprised when we found it, and we did not recognise it in the forest because it is too large," he added.
The fungus, F. ellipsoidea, is what mycologists call a perennial polypore – otherise known as a bracket fungus.
Tests on the density of the fruiting body suggest the whole thing weighs 400-500kg; it is also estimated to hold some 450 million spores.
"A small piece of the fruiting body is almost like my size," said Prof Dai.
The discovery has been described in the journal Fungal Biology.
Related world records:
First all-black petunia: Black Velvet
Largest maple leaf: Eve Steel
Largest puffball: Finley O'Neill
Largest Pumpkin: Chris Stevens
Longest cucumber: Clare Pearce
diverse repository of crop seeds: Svalbard Global Seed Vault
Mango: Sergio and Maria Socorro Bodiongan
Living Palmer's Oak: Jurupa Oak
Zinnia: Everett Wallace Jr. and
living Christmas tree: Coeur d'Alene
orchid: Lou Jost
maple leaf: Hailey Nickolson
tomatoes grown on a single truss: Graham Tranter
rose bush: Robert Bendel
pumpkin: Christy Harp
gooseberry: Bryan Nellist
Cactus: SDM College of Dental Sciences
rutabaga: Scott Robb
cabbage: Steve Hubacek
Cucumber: Yitzhak Yazdanpana
organic cucumber: Segee family
potato: Khalil Semhat
rutabaga: Norm Craven
cobs on a maize plant: Mark Wozencroft
marrow: Ken Dade
Spaghetti Bean: Toni Velardo
water spinach: Li Hui
horizontal wall of flowers: Thompson and Morgan
Amaranth plant: Jesse Eldrid
living tree: Swedish spruce
dandelion: Bjorn Magne
Thursday, August 4, 2011