Learn about soil dynamics and how mycelium plays a vital role in this system. While a mushroom is perceivable, mycelium, the “root” structure of mushrooms …
i'm Katherine from the MSU science
festival again for another night of
science after dark tonight we are joined
by tess Pierzynski from the founder of
fungi freights from detroit welcome hi
thank you so much I'm really happy to be
here glad to have you
Before we jump into tonight's
presentation could you introduce
yourself and tell us a little bit about
what fungi Frances yeah absolutely
um so hi everyone thanks for joining my
name is Tess I environmental scientists
I work for a civil engineering company
but uh I have been involved in studying
fungi for over 10 years so it's a big
part of my life and I started fungi
freights basically equipped to being a
free container to be a lab space for
people to engage in the mycological
realm and you know providing a space
first innocence in science and for
people to get that experience with fungi
and mushrooms
so that's incredible um so tell us a
little bit about what you're gonna be
talking about tonight
um so yeah we're gonna basically be
talking about mycelium which is the
vegetative structure of fungi what we
what we primarily don't see we usually
when we think of a mushroom we think of
the fruiting body that come pops up up
from the ground after you know a few
days rain but we're gonna talk about the
vegetative structure and everything that
goes on underneath will give a little
bit overlay of fungi and mushrooms as
well but primarily of mycelium are you
ready to get started
sure yeah let's jump and do it alright
set up if anyone has any questions
throughout the live stream feel free to
enter them into the YouTube chat and we
will be sure to cover them in the Q&A
session following alright let me just
show my screen here
okay here we go looks good yeah looks
good okay so welcome everybody and let's
dive into the realm of fungi so we're
gonna go back to 420 roughly 420 million
years ago to the land of the prototype
say eighties so the proto text I use
fossil is thought to be the oldest
multicellular organism on the planet so
scientists discovered its fossil in 1859
and it was thought to be like but these
are about 20 feet tall by the way they
were really large organisms dominating
the Earth's and they were thought to be
a conifer like tree or an algae um but
after like doing further studies I
believe in the 1950s it was discovered
through isotopic dating and carbon
nitrogen ratios that this organism was
not obtaining carbon from the atmosphere
actually from an organic source so it's
actually feeding off of carbon from the
earth so then removing it from being a
plant to actually a fungus and we'll
talk about how plants are fungi obtained
their food and a little bit so these
multicellular fungi actually paved way
for terrestrial life on earth because
there was no soil at one point the
Earth's crust was a very hard and rigid
and these organisms with the mycelial
structure actually broke down that
really hard crust of the earth and thus
created soil paving the way for
terrestrial life to begin on earth so
that's kind of the beginning and here's
the actual fossil saw to believe this is
saudi arabia's from Smithsonian magazine
here so we'll talk a little bit about
phylogeny the phylogenetic tree
is an organization of all life on earth
in a hierarchical form this is just a
portion of it pointing out eukaryotes so
eukaryotic organisms are multicellular
and they have nucleus with specialized
organelles so at one point fungi were
placed in the same kingdom as plants and
after studying further their
characteristics and how different they
are from fauna and flora they were
actually put into their own Kingdom and
we'll talk about these characteristics
in the next slide but the really cool
thing is now they're actually in a
supergroup with Animalia so it's called
a pistol Kanta
and this supergroup actually contains
fungi and animal and that's how close we
are incest really with fungi so I think
that's a super cool discovery and it
just reminds us that you know you know
maybe we do come from fungi or we have
been coexisting with this organism for a
very long time so some of these
characteristics that Bunge i have that
do play some in a different category
than plants are the fact that they're
eukaryotic so plants are too but they're
eukaryotic organisms they're
multicellular and they're
non-photosynthetic so unlike plants they
didn't develop oh they called
photosynthesis or that you can just like
bathe in the Sun and create your own
food unfortunately um punch I cannot do
that so they're heterotrophs just like
we are they have to seek out their food
from a external source they undergo
extra cellular digestion so they
actually digest their food outside of
themselves and we'll talk about that in
a little bit their cell wall is
comprised primarily of chitin so plants
their cell wall is cellulose whereas
fungi their cell wall is chitin and
chitin
it's a probably more of what like
arthropods and crustaceans um are
comprised of so that's why you fungi
how's that like really different texture
than plants sometimes they're squishy
sometimes they're more ready and hard so
it's because of the chitin and their
cell wall most of them are not in multi
tile I'm not gonna say that they're all
not because some actually do you contain
flagella and they can swim they in take
oxygen and exhale co2 so once again this
is the opposite of plants and similar to
us we can take oxygen exhale co2 like
why is this for fungi they're
decomposers they can undergo asexual in
sexual reproduction and they produce
spores and not seeds and as you can see
they're very diverse I took all these
photos up at the University of Michigan
bio station up in my Oh northern
Michigan Ohio Michigan so even right
here in Michigan you can see the very
broad diversity we have fungi um so
really quick we'll just talk about the
seven violins I call it the queendom
fungi so classification within like the
fungal queen Damas always under just
view and changing but for now these are
the seven films and the first one we
have is chytridiomycosis um of the
oldest fungi
they're very simplistic and they produce
new spores which cause them to be motile
so they can actually they're usually
found in aquatic environments microspore
IDIA these are also a simple really
simple form of fungi and they're mainly
parasitic thriving and like insects
human another animal hosts um then we
have glamour on my coat uh I'm gonna go
on a little rant about this phylum here
it's one of my favorites super cool um
dating back to like 450 million years
ago these this like genus of fungi is
super interesting
not only the fact that they produce
glomalin which is a protein is really
essential to soil health it actually
like buying soil together and gives it
it helps it retain moisture and just
it's really helpful for the microbiome
within the soil but they were pretty
much the first or oldest terrestrial
fungi on the planet and the cool thing
about them is that they're spore size is
significant significantly larger than a
regular spore
so a regular spore which is like the
seed of a fungi usually can get up to
about like 20 micrometers whereas a
glamor mic Jota sport can reach up to
about 800 micrometers micrometers so you
can kind of see the drastic difference
in spore size and the really really cool
thing about them is that they can
contain DNA from up to 35 different
35,000 different um varieties of DNA
some from other phylum so like a regular
sport would just contain that specific
genetic material of that fungi our cells
just contain DNA specific to like who we
are
glamour my quota is pretty much the
mothership of like genetic variation and
fungi a king it can contain thirty five
thousand different genetic genetically
different DNA so it's really bizarre
but a way to think of it as like if we
could have DNA of like a shark or cat or
an alligator so basically it it's the
mothership and it just like contains a
vast variety of DNA and I don't know if
this was some form of like survival to
like spread DNA you know the spores can
spread like from continent to continent
either way it's really interesting fact
and if you want to learn more about it
you can look up over
Kota in DNA okay so moving on end of
rant home we have the blast oh um fatty
oh my Kota these are set probes they
break down dead organic matter the neo
Cal amassed ago my Kota these are
anaerobic fungi mainly dwelling in
environment so it's like little to no
oxygen then we have ASCO mites
these are sac fungi and the
basidiomycota club fungi the most common
enjoy a mushroom night the layman
usually think so but just a good old
mushroom so okay moving on really quick
just to clarify and distinguish when we
use the word fungi movie use the word
mushrooms so how I like to break it down
is that all mushrooms are fungi but not
all fungi are mushrooms so a mushroom is
the fruiting body of the fungi and not
all fungi produce fruiting bodies so the
fruiting body is pretty much like an
apple to a tree it's the reproductive
structure that slowly its sole purpose
is to reproduce and they do this via
spores so they'll release their spores
and then decay and the cycle will go on
so fungi like mold and yeast most of
them do not produce certain bodies so we
wouldn't call them a mushroom okay it's
happened to reproduction a little bit
just to tell like show you or explain a
little bit how mycelium is formed so
like we were saying mushrooms or fungi
can reproduce asexually or sexually so
they undergo mitosis and meiosis so neat
a sexual reproduction they undergo
mitosis and these spores are going to be
haploid meaning that they will be they
only contain one set of like genetic
materials so they're gonna be completely
identical to the parent so this doesn't
really offer much like genetic variation
and and I think maybe sexual
reproduction
developed in fungi to get that genetic
variation and allow them to survive
better and it as like adaptation is
easier when you have a broader array of
genetic material so in sexual
reproduction a lot more fun cool stuff
going on so very similar to our
reproductive cycle Oh sis the spores
will be diploid meaning that they will
contain both genetic material of each
each fungus that like came together so
the coolest thing I like to bring up is
that mycelium contains Michel pheromones
so as they're just like hanging out
underground wiggling around together if
they are like compatible I'm like oh I
like your micro pheromones they'll fuse
and then that's where the reproductive
structure will UM derive from so it's
pretty interesting that they give off
those chemical signals like we do so
this is just a reiteration the same
information but an illustrative form
just to give you a better perspective so
this is a the city of my see a regular
just common guild mushroom so the spores
will release and if conditions are right
meaning it has to the environment has to
have like a consistent moisture level
pretty regulated like temperatures and a
good nutrient source so not all spores
we wrap will actually germinate some get
eaten by insects or animals and will
join into the the food web but for those
that do Germany they will produce – and
we're gonna talk about – so – is the
beginning form of mycelium it's just a
single protoplasm and once it branches
it becomes mycelium and that mycelium
will give rise to primordia and to a
mature mushroom and then the site
repeats um just to get dive a little bit
into hi face so they're long – blue
tubular filaments some are septate some
summer a septate just meaning that some
have a septum that separates the nucleus
and the organelles from one another
we won't get too much into that but um
so here's like a cell wall and the cell
wall is a semipermeable plasma membrane
and this allows the inflow and outflow
of chemicals from the environment and
we'll talk about how that's important
for digestion and here's am a realistic
view at a thousand times magnified of
hyphae
so really quick on high for growth
because it's super interesting it
undergoes apical extension so it grows
from the tip and it's a word as a German
word known as fits in copper that um
means it explains this whole phenomenon
of these vesicles here at the tip there
they're unknown compounds it's still
kind of a mystery of how this growth
occurs so I'm like okay so they're
growers not showers you know this is
like not really sure what's going on
here it's just like here are these
vesicles that spit out and will digest
this part of the cell wall and continue
on growth so pretty interesting that
it's not completely known yet so it
could be something that will spark
someone's interest – I'm kind of study
and here's a little clip just to show
you how actually is growing out from the
tip interesting
okay so when my hyphae fuse or grow
together and branch out that is what we
know as mycelium my used ileum is very
tenacious
although being one cell wall thick it's
super durable it's super Hardy it really
is responsible for holding the forest
floor together so the fact of it being
so seeming so stringy and thin it
actually is is really powerful so it
grows out in in like the pathway of its
food source so as you can see here on
the Left growing in a agar petri dish
the nutrients are pretty well dispersed
so it'll actually grow in a circular
formation trying to digest all the
nutrients within its pathway so it's
very sufficient and it's like growth
patterns over here on the right you can
see that it's going out pretty laterally
but it's still trying to branch out and
get the nutrients like within its
pathway so it's super efficient in its
own growth patterns so here we'll get on
to the digestion portion so fungi
undergo extracellular digestion so they
actually secrete enzymes out side of
themselves from the Highfill tip into
the environment and digestion that goes
on outside so it's like if we were to
just like throw up like on our food and
then just like lay on top of it and
reabsorb but it's really bizarre because
they don't have to reabsorb the
nutrients from where the enzymes are
excreted so that's pretty sufficient as
well because they can secrete enzymes
and then keep growing out and then this
area over here can like come by and
absorb the nutrients so pretty
interesting
and just shows um kind of how different
you know they have an external stomach
pretty much so they break down the
polymers enzymes break them down into
like simpler structures some monomers
and then they'll get reabsorbed so fungi
obtain their nutrients and three
different ways the first one we're going
to talk about is um parasitic fungi so
basically they obtain their nutrients
from a living host so they will survive
a living host eventually killing it off
so we have Oviedo cordyceps unite
lateralis this is super interesting
it's an insect pathogen so it
specifically utilizes carpenter ants for
a host and these carpenter ants will
like eat these leaves that have the
spores of the oil cordyceps on it
therefore the spores will enter its
digestive system where where it'll
germinate and the mycelium it was
thought that the mycelium was taking
over its central nervous system and like
causing it to become zombie-like but
numerous studies are actually talking
about the mycelium taking over each
organ and actually moving the organs
from within so what will happen is this
this ant will become like zombie and
just it'll only know how to walk upwards
so basically it walks all the way up to
the top of the plant and then plunders
to its death so pretty much causes the
ant to become like a suicidal zombie so
that this is really cool if there's some
videos on it and more information if you
want to look up carpenter ants and
ophiocordyceps to the right we have our
malaria which is a honey fungus it's
actually a pretty pretty good edible
this
as parasitic to furs it's actually the
largest organism on the planet so if
anyone asks you like oh no it's not a
blue whale you can be like oh it's a
it's a fungus um I I guarantee someone
will be pretty proud or actually
surprised that you know that so it's not
the mushroom itself it's at the
underground mycelial mat and how this
was discovered is that arborist where
I'm studying in the blue mountains of
Oregon and they were noticing all of
this like true death
so they were taking like route samples
from like a hundred different trees and
they noticed that majority of them were
infected with the honey fungus then
placing it together doing further
studies and they traced the genetic
material like it's a mycelium all the
way back to like a single genetic
material so the entire my see little mat
is genetic genetically identical so it's
about thirty five thousand tons in
weight spanning 2.4 miles or like 2200
acres just really give you perspective
of how like massive this mycelial mat is
so although parasitic it's still pretty
cool that's the largest organism on the
planet and we have like my favorite
mutualistic fungi this is a lot nicer
relationship so on the right we have
lichen I love like in so beautiful it's
actually a symbiotic relationship of
fungi and algae so they survive together
sharing different huge nutrients amongst
each other they're very slow growing so
it's it's ok to collect like in if you
see it like falling on the ground from
falling bark but usually it's not good
to harvest it just because it does take
a long time to grow and it's a pretty
precious
um so over here on the Left we have a
Maiko Raizel symbiotic relationships so
um this mutualistic relationship occurs
in about 90% of all plants and trees
it's super beneficial the mycelium will
actually like fuse with the plant or
tree roots and expand like the whole
rhizosphere so in exchange for like
sugars and carbohydrates from the plant
roots the mycelium will exchange
minerals and different nutrients mostly
the most beneficial thing I think is
that mycelium can go to further depths
of the earth it can actually go as far
as the calcareous bedrock and it can
bring up that phosphorus that calcium um
different minerals that true your plant
roots would otherwise be unable to
retrieve so that's um pretty cool stuff
so they create this underground network
they kind of like connects you know
underground life and provide this like
form of communication so a Maiko Rises
the area where the plant in the tree or
the planet in the mycelium will kind of
fuse together and then and then it will
kind of go on but through that it
creates this like beautiful
communication communicational network
allows things to share nutrients and
just like share I don't know they're
probably like talking hanging out under
there I don't know but it just basically
expands the like this whole raizou
sphere and allows plants to cover about
700 times more like biomass of soiled
and other than they would otherwise
so how this interacts in the environment
and as we were saying it's really good
at like retaining moisture and soil and
exchanging nutrients and holding the
forest floor together it really provides
a really strong root system and this
picture over here on the right I just
had to add it in there because I find it
funny a professor and my in college I
was taking a terrestrial ecology class
and he just totally was weirded out and
didn't really like the fact that was so
obsessed with mushrooms and he really
did not like mushrooms and kinda would
write me off every time I would talk
about them or bring them up and I was
like whoa dude you're a treasure like
Colin just I don't understand how this
makes sense but part of our field exams
were to dig these soil or these yeah
soil profiles so we would take them and
we would come back and kind of study the
layers of the soil in week like we came
back about a day or two and this like
beautiful cluster of mushrooms just was
like coming out of our like soil profile
and I'm just like
aha you know there they are and just
found it kind of enlightening so onto
mycorrhizae soil just showing here again
a tree or plant root and it's
rhizosphere so if you see this area
within the soil that does not contain
mycorrhizal mycelium it doesn't have you
know it doesn't have as many out
branches for to obtain nutrients whereas
over here when there is presence of
mycorrhizae
you can see how further expanded its
ability is to retrieve nutrients back to
the actual root and this is just some
the different organisms that are
involved in that rhizosphere
okay in the third form of nutrient
uptake and how you know how fund uptake
their nutrients is separate physically
so saprophytic fungi are awesome I like
give a huge shout out to them because
they're responsible breaking down dead
organic matter so although it's like
it'll like look in your fridge and
there's like some moldy food it's
actually a super amazing transition it's
breaking down those nutrients that would
otherwise be locked up and inaccessible
to other biota and actually breaking it
down and allowing those nutrients to get
filtered back into the into the cycle
and the really interesting thing about
saprophytic fungi well they're they're
pretty much responsible for 90% of all
decomposition and they're the only thing
on the planet that can break down lignin
so we're gonna talk about looking in but
lignin is what it's a polymer that helps
make up woody plants and trees so it's a
component within it's really complex
component that's in the secondary cell
wall of all woody trees and shrubs and
it gives it that woody structure so
without saprophytic fungi any tree that
falls in the forest any twig or stump
would not get broken down so we would
just be like miles high and like um dead
organic matter of like trees and woody
shrubs um so yeah just a little bit more
in decomposition and nutrient cycling
like I was saying ninety percent
responsible for 90% of all decomp they
so I
the nutrients back into back into the
cycle for other by Otis we all wanted to
uptake them so it's really really a
beautiful process it's kind of like
gives death what life again
so we're gonna move on to mycelium for
environmental cleanup and why I'm
bringing this up right after the sepra
fights is because of the way that
mycelium can break down certain
pollutants in the environment is through
saprophytic fungi and we'll get into
that so we know that you know pollution
is an ongoing problem spent on the rise
since the Industrial Revolution co2
levels are rising um which is like an
abundant greenhouse gas and it's having
a major effect on our climate thus
affecting a lot of biota and I think it
can be very leads to like that
detrimental consequences if it has not
already so we're gonna get into my
curved mediation just we're just going
to tap into it because it could be a
whole top on its own so just to give you
a very broad introduction mycelium has
the ability to break down certain
pollutants in soil or waterways
primarily hydrocarbons because they are
like carbon and hydrogen base so um they
do this with their extracellular enzyme
system and the same way that you know
the hyphae will secrete the enzymes to
break down food in its environment it
can also do this um with certain
pollutants and break them down and we'll
talk about why and how this can actually
happen so going back to lignin I'm going
to talk about polycyclic arabic or
aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs um these
are chemicals that like naturally occur
in crude oil or coal so when these
fossil fuels are burned they release
these chemicals and once they rise into
the air and dissipate back down it can
be a problem with contaminating soil so
if you see here the comparison on a
molecular structure to ph's and lignin
they're both aromatic so they share that
that structure of an aromatic ring
structure so like I was saying mycelium
saprophytic mycelium contain a lignin
enzyme system so they can break down
lignin so they can break down lignin
it's like oh hey here's a really similar
structure like let's break that down to
like that's how cool they are
they'll just like sure will eat you as
well and utilize you and break you down
so that's just a kind of an overlay of
how this actually can occur we've done
some like applied soil mic ecology
practices with micro mediation so my
group mediation was actually it was
discovered by Paul Stamets however he
didn't put a patent on it because his
theory is like everyone should be able
to do this and utilize this so it's been
studied like in tabletop like on a
tabletop like version people have done
like some applying my remediation we
don't really we haven't really seen it
like work on all very large-scale and I
don't think that's how it's meant to be
I think it's meant to be implemented in
small areas all around therefore
creating a big large area so there is
ways to do this and I do give a talk
solely on micro mediation I do get
workshops on it so if you're interested
in this you know we can chat later shoot
me an email and see how you can actually
get out there and do some applied micro
remediation in your own area so we're
getting you the end here but this is
super super good stuff here and I really
want to share it with everyone if you
haven't already heard of Helium and how
it's actually helping recolonize the
honeybees so for I don't know
quite some time bee colonies are facing
like a major collapse it's super
devastating there's many reasons for
this you know pesticides loss of habitat
monoculture or mono crops that's just
kind of destroying the vitality of
honeybees and there's super important to
our vitality they pollinate billions of
dollars worth of crops the year they're
responsible for about 30% of our food
supply so without these pollinators we
could be facing like a kind of a really
crazy collapse then like food security
and just like our own mentality as well
so we're gonna get into the varroa mite
so I think many of you are probably
familiar with Paul Stamets and he
discovered something amazing
linking the mycelium to the honeybee so
really quick a little background on the
varroa mite um this is responsible for
so so many colony collapse so many
honeybee colonies to collapse so it's um
it's native to Asia and once it was
introduced here it kind of started
taking over and what it does is it will
um cool in effect like the larva or like
a baby bee and it kind of just attaches
on to like its back and it will just
feed off of the blood and that's a super
dense or detrimental um and a lot of
things have been you know try a lot of
things have been implemented to try to
like ward off this varroa mite but
nothing seems to work
so Paul Stamets kind of put this whole
thing together that he saw his honeybees
kind of feeding on in his outdoor my
studio our outdoor like mushroom garden
beds and
mycelium there and you know after like
studying years later he came up with a
vaccine for the varroa mite which is a
combination of the reishi Amadou in the
chaga mushroom these are really amazing
medicinal mushrooms they've been used
for thousands of years and have many
immunological benefits so these have an
immune and immune system as well so
basically putting the serum together and
allowing bees to feed off of it it's
shown great results in warding off the
varroa mite so that's also their topic
but that's just also more of how
mycelium is so magical that's actually
saving the honeybee which is super
amazing okay and if you want to look
that up Paul Stamets his research is
published in Nature one of the oldest
like scientific journals yeah it's a
really good read okay getting into my
eye ceiling for sustainable biomaterials
so not only are they just like saving
everything they're also being made into
compost like compostable sustainable
biomaterials so that's me just like
nerding out at a mushroom conference
playing with these micro materials so
you can for one replace styrofoam which
styrofoam just completely sucks it's
horrible it's a terrible thing
it's a single-use I mean how many times
like have you or you seem like somebody
in the office just like grab a Styrofoam
cup of water and like throw it away and
then like 10 minutes later go get
another one it's it's just like this
terrible product that is can even be
toxic it's non biodegradable it persists
in the environment it's so lightweight
that even recycling it or like when it's
in the
Phil and often like blows away and like
gets into the other habitats in
environments the production process is
the fifth-largest generator of hazardous
waste it actually comes from crude oil
so they're burning like fossil fuels at
like a enormous rate to produce
styrofoam terrible so an awesome
alternative is something known as
Michael foam so I actually was like
working with mycelium years back in like
when I was first starting to grow it I
was like wow this stuff is like super
cool it like takes over whatever
substrate it grows and I'm like this
would be a really cool like sponge or
something like thinking of like ways to
utilize it and then I look looking into
it and then I find eco beta design and
it's a company based out of Green Island
New York they're already doing it I'm
like ah so funny but um they are amazing
and they're making these micro materials
to replace styrofoam packaging so how
the production process works all that it
entails pretty much is agricultural
wastes water and heat so no burning of
fossil fuels know like non-sustainable
or non resourceful resources so how this
actually works is you'll obtain
agricultural wastes which is great
because it is allowing you to reduce
waste in your community and you
basically grilled in mycelium in a mold
and then you'll heat it and out Pops's
product
so basically you heat it to stop the
process the growth process and to kind
of heat treat it to keep it in its like
heart in a hearty form so these
materials are super cool they've
undergone like um he analysis tensile
strength and like um
tests to
show that they are high-performance they
are insulators fire fireproof and like
waterproof and they're biodegradable so
like once you're done with it or you get
your package you can honestly just like
throw it out in your compost or your
garden and IKEA actually a duck has just
I don't know the last two years or so
they've actually adopted using
microphone which is so cool so yeah go
IKEA Sweden's on top of things um also
being used for like building blocks as
you can see there's here's a very nice
chair here me it's solely of mycelium
and even certain to like um play around
it's like building things like human
structures with mycelial blocks so if
you want to learn more I would maybe
look up eco beta design or just micro
materials um even producing a mycelium
like leather and as you can see it's
like super durable it looks a lot like
leather um this is a company known as
bolt threads and they call their
mycelium leather my hello here's a cool
purse
you gotta get you one of those so yeah
if you're interested you know bolt
threads is kind of on this and reading
my goal up there and last but not least
I'm gonna talk about my stealing for
personal well-being and just talk about
– my favorite mushrooms this is here is
eros eros iam Erinyes yes it's the line
means mushroom I took this picture many
years ago in northern Michigan as you
can see holes it's structure is like
super like I captivating it's beautiful
with this like bicycle tooth like
structure it's actually super delicious
the taste like lobster like when cooked
up in butter and the mycelium has more
beneficial properties and actually the
fruiting body but the mycelium contains
medicinal properties that actually
induce neurological growth and repair so
it's really great for
having the cognitive function and
supporting the nervous system so can
actually repair neurons that have been
damaged and help to induce neurological
growth so it's a super awesome fun job I
think we all should be taking it as a
supplement we've been seeing on studies
where it's helping with dementia and
like I think too much is super sad
because it's like a people that we look
up to for like history you know our
elders are like losing their memory and
it's harder for us to learn from them so
start giving this to like your loved
ones your mom and dad or grandma grandpa
whoever and then talk about I want to
talk about o salafi cubensis so um
psychoactive mushroom one of my favorite
mushrooms I think they're amazing
they're finally being studied by like
John Hopkins and Harvard for treating
like PTSD addiction depression and even
like the fear of death of people that
are like dying of like certain diseases
and are scared to die they've been
undergoing these um these treatments by
taking it's like psilocybin and
undergoing that um that kind of
experience psychedelic experience and
there's a lot of benefits from it so
just to explain a little bit on the
psychoactive property or is psilocybin
but once we ingest the psilocybin our
body breaks it down into solisten and
that actually attaches to our serotonin
receptor because as you can see the
molecular structure is super similar to
serotonin oh it just differs by a
phosphate group so it's actually it's
like enhancing our like Sarah it it's
like flooding our receptors of serotonin
instead of depleting it so um super good
stuff and I think with micro posting on
so psilocybin and um lion's mane
together it's probably super like one of
the most beneficial things for cognitive
function and opening up new pathways in
our brain so that's pretty much all I
have for you so an overview um it's just
basically mycelium is agent it's
powerful it's tenacious they're really
great adapters they play like a super
important role in soil dynamics
connecting the webs of life it allows
people to kind of dabble in my ecology
and citizen science they're kind of
cleaning up after us all the damage that
we recruit have phone have a Kurd here
on earth and the life upon it kind of
just you know cleaning it up for us
which is something to be super thankful
for and help sustain all life on Earth
and that's just a quote that I wanted to
end with by John Burroughs I had an ad
in here I mean look how cool this guy is
he probably loved mushrooms he just
looks like mushroom guy um so it is well
to stop her stargazing occasionally and
consider the ground under her feet maybe
it is celestial – maybe this brown Sun
stains and stained earth is a sister to
the morning and evening star if it
should turn out to be so it seems we
have many things to learn over again so
yeah I just think that is a it resonates
really well with me and like the whole
with mycelium
as well so thank you everybody here's
just some information on myself and
funny freights if you want to learn more
you can go to my website um kind of
learn more about what I'm doing here
in Detroit and surrounding areas so
thank you so much
great thanks to us that was wonderful
I'm really in white 'fl we can enter a
Q&A section of the presentation tonight
if anyone has any questions feel free to
enter them into the YouTube chat we've
gotten a couple questions so far I'm so
weak hey earlier Scott was curious about
some of the found yeah so there is fungi
that is surviving off of radioactive
material I I'm really glad that you
brought that up that's super super cool
stuff I haven't really researched much
into it but we know that there is fungus
growing like on in the walls in
Chernobyl and feeding off they're
actually they're actually utilizing
radioactive material as a food source so
they're breaking down radioactive
material which i think is also you know
a form of how they are so adaptive and
maybe how ancient they are to be
breaking down radioactive material I
mean they're just so adaptive in the
earth already like what's here in
uranium and such oh that's a good point
I don't really have too much information
on that but we do know that there is
fungi growing in feeding off of
radioactive material cool from one of
our younger viewers we had a question do
you know where the varroa mite comes
from sort of how this became an issue um
I do know it's native to Asia I'm not
sure exactly how it migrated here um but
it is native to Asia mm-hmm that's a
great question another question we got
could you talk a little bit about
mushrooms that you can find out in
Michigan I'm just walking around and we
also did another question are they only
found on dead trees okay yeah good
question um so we do you have a broad
array of home fungi it depends
what you're looking for if you're you
know for edible edible fungi we do have
the lion's mane we have the Morel super
renowned here in Michigan the delicious
delicacy the seasons actually like just
starting it'll probably go through May
so make sure to look up for your morels
I was gonna you know I had a talk set up
on morels all unlike the beginner's
guide to morel hunting but unfortunately
with the corona boy was briars I wasn't
unable to give that but you want to look
in like disturbed areas and like my
roadsides and elm dead elm trees so
that's a really good mushroom to look
out for we have the chanterelles they
come up in July that's another great
edible they don't always grow on dead
trees so when we were talking about the
different forms of how fungi obtain
their food source so if it's a
saprophytic mushroom it will grow and
dead are met organic matters so that
you'll see them growing unlike dead
fallen trees some that are michael
Raizel like a morel will pop up from the
ground because it's actually having a
symbiotic relationship underground some
are specific to like specific trees they
like certain trees and will have that
relationship with a certain tree so it's
good to know your trees when your
mushroom hunting and kind of figuring
out like what mushroom you want to look
for and if it is what type of mushroom
it is if it's parasitic if it's michael
Raizel or if it's saprophytic i could
have talked a lot about that but i hold
that in the comments section asking you
for a morel mushroom session online yeah
i'll do it you know I have it all ready
to go so maybe I'll put together a live
session in the next couple weeks and get
that out I even share some of my secret
spots my other talk through that one
be sure to share that yeah another great
question we got um someone's wondering
if you could talk about responsibly
sourcing medicinal mushrooms for those
who want to use that at the end but I
think I got the gist of it just like
ethically sourcing medicinal mushrooms
which is a really good question or it's
a really great point to bring up thank
you because some of these mushrooms take
a long time to grow and if you don't
ethically harvest these mushrooms and
kind of leave some behind they won't be
able to drop their spores and thus
regenerating the forest so um I would
say always leave some behind you know
don't be greedy leave some in the forest
so they can regenerate drop their spores
and continue to grow and also like with
the chaga mushroom it grows um in
northern Michigan on birch trees I think
it grows like open the twenty second
ladder rolls so you want to go a little
bit north um to get your chaga but the
best time to harvest these is in the
winter so there's also some can be
seasonal based on when it's best to
harvest them but the main thing is to
leave some mushrooms behind so they can
regenerate we have another question from
Kelsey who's wondering if you could talk
a little bit more about micro mediation
at home okay yeah so micro mediation
it's kind of you know I would say do
your research um make sure you're being
cautious and safe if you are working
with like contaminated soils to kind of
know what you're working with maybe get
the soil tested make sure you have
hazardous like or PPE protective
personal protective gear
if you're gonna actually be going out
working in contaminated soil but how you
can kind of start is obtaining a
saprophytic mushroom that wastes your
mushrooms a great mushroom to start with
you want to grow out that mycelium yeah
it's a pretty it's it's a it's a strong
mushroom and it's not so susceptible to
contamination so it it's a good for
mushroom to grow for beginners so you'll
grow it out the mycelium and then you
can like kind of accept my slam and some
woodchips and then let it grow out even
further onto the woodchips and then fill
in those wood chips into the soil into
your area of interest and what I like to
say if you are really going to be like
kind of studying this and trying to get
some results and some analysis to always
have a control so you want to have an
area that as like untouched just so you
can see if this is actually working
let's see lots of questions here we're
we're running out of time but we can
take a couple more and I guess before we
dive into a couple more questions if
people want to learn more we have a
couple questions wondering if your if
you offer classes online where can
everyone go to learn more about fungi
freights yeah absolutely I give courses
all the time on and if you go to my
website which is www.hyken.com
solely designated to workshops I'll show
you the upcoming workshops that I offer
a lot of them have been cancelled due to
these trying times of the coronavirus
but um I'll always be updating it so
yeah we have a question someone's
wondering where you would suggest to
shop for lion's mane mushrooms someone
suggested micro files in Grand Rapids
but you're from the Detroit area do you
have any suggestions
so as just to clarify if if you're
certain if your purchase time like in a
medicinal or like a supplemental form or
like fresh so my friends at the Detroit
mushroom factory actually have lion's
mane if you're in this area you can get
fresh lines and actually you can buy
lion's mane tinctures for me that's a
medicinal supplement I do provide that
it's on my website um
now that's pretty much for locally that
I know of but um there's a lot of other
sources I'm a friend
Olga smoked mushrooms hey Olga shout-out
to Olga she's in upstate New York and
she's smoked on mushrooms and I know she
offers on a lot of medicinals on lion's
mane as well or first fungi perfect eye
which is Paul Stamets
line okay and our last question for the
night
Mary is wondering if you have any tips
for anyone who's sort of wanting to
follow in your footsteps you know if you
could talk a little bit about what you
studied how you got to where you are now
awesome great that's a super precious no
I'm just kidding so I started studying
um I was studying like microbiology
biology in my beginning years of college
um a lot of people were pre-med so I
kind of really didn't fit in and I
noticed though there was not a lot of
information on fungi at all I asked I'd
have so many questions through my
professors all the time like we're
spending you know three weeks on
bacteria in three days on fungi like I
had so many questions I was getting very
little answers took into my oh dear um
into my own hands to kind of just start
researching on my own and I think that
there's a scientist in every single one
of us don't be afraid to go out there
and do your own experiments and read
scientific journals
unlike things that you're interested
with fungi reach out to other people in
the area and now that I have a property
in East Pole town it's really gonna be
dedicated to education in the
mycological realm and I want it to be an
area for people to come and gather and
engage in my ecology together and expand
this in science so that eventually will
be up and running for everyone to come
and learn but I would just say start
dabbling into books cultivation getting
some experience experiments running you
got kind of just doing your own research
great well thanks again for joining us
and thanks to everyone who tuned in
tonight do this session we'll have
everything recorded if you want to look
back and we'll be sure to share more
information about Jeffries all right
thank you so much awesome

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