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I found this vibrant rotting log that was at least 50% infected with Chlorociboria aeruginascens (green-blue wood). When I pulled a chunk of wood off the log, this is what was underneath – a network of white rhizomorphs that had a pinkish red base. The rhizomorphs are most likely from an unknown, secondary fungus that is also living on this log.
Chlorociboria species contain a napthaquinone pigment called xylindein, which is the reason for the characteristic bluish-green stain that occurs on wood that's infected by this species.
Some species of fungi produce linear strings called hyphae. Fungal hyphae travel through the soil and colonize potential food sources. Sometimes, hyphae form larger structures called rhizomorphs. A rhizomorph is a rope-like aggregation of hyphal strands. Rhizomorphs have important functions that include branching out in search of food sources and transporting nutrients. Interestingly, some rhizomorphs are hollow (similar to plant xylem), which allows the fungus to transport large volumes of water and nutrients. Since rhizomorphs can travel farther than individual hyphae, they prove their worth by performing such critical functions.
Growing on a rotten log in a deciduous forest.
Spotted on Dec 6, 2017
Submitted on Dec 7, 2017
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