Mushroom Wars

To learn more about the research behind this video, visit Peter Kennedy’s lab at

Two mushroom guilds with vastly different strategies are locked in competition for forest dominance.

To learn more about this topic, start your googling with these keywords:
– Fungi: Members of a eukaryotic kingdom that have chitin in their cell walls and do not photosynthesize.
– Ectomycorrhizal Fungi: Fungi that form a symbiotic relationship with the roots of certain trees.
– Symbiosis: A close and long-term relationship between two unlike organisms.
– Saprotrophic Fungi: Fungi that decompose the remains of other biological entities.
– Gadgil Effect: The phenomenon that occurs when saprotrophic and mycorrhizal fungi compete in forest soils.
– Volatile Organic Compounds: Organic compounds that easily evaporate at room temperature.

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David Goldenberg | Script Writer, Narrator and Director
Arcadi Garcia i Rius | Illustration, Video Editing and Animation
Nathaniel Schroeder | Music

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Lizah van der Aart • Sarah Berman • Cameron Duke
Arcadi Garcia i Rius • David Goldenberg • Melissa Hayes
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Streiblová, E., Gryndlerová, H. and Gryndler, M. (2012), Truffle brûlé: an efficient fungal life strategy. FEMS Microbiol Ecol, 80: 1-8.

Fernandez, C.W. and Kennedy, P.G. (2016), Revisiting the ‘Gadgil effect’: do interguild fungal interactions control carbon cycling in forest soils?. New Phytol, 209: 1382-1394.

Ogura-Tsujita, Y., Yukawa, T. & Kinoshita, A. Evolutionary histories and mycorrhizal associations of mycoheterotrophic plants dependent on saprotrophic fungi. J Plant Res 134, 19–41 (2021).

Miyauchi, S., Kiss, E., Kuo, A. et al. Large-scale genome sequencing of mycorrhizal fungi provides insights into the early evolution of symbiotic traits. Nat Commun 11, 5125 (2020).

Varga, T., Krizsán, K., Földi, C. et al. Megaphylogeny resolves global patterns of mushroom evolución. Nat Ecol Evol 3, 668–678 (2019).

Kennedy, Peter. (2022) Personal Communication. University of Minnesota, College of Biological Sciences.

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