Filamentous fungi attach gold to theirfilaments, dissolving and precipitating particles from the environment. This process will help find new gold deposits. This may be a biological advantage, as gold-covered mushrooms grow and spread faster than mushrooms that do not interact with gold. The discovery was made by Australian scientific agency CSIRO and published in the journal Nature Communications.
"Mushrooms can oxidize the smallest particles of gold andbesieging it on its threads - this cyclical process can contribute to the distribution of gold and other elements on the surface of the Earth, ”said lead author of CSIRO Dr. Qing Bohu.
How will they mine gold in the future
Fungi are well known for playing an importantrole in the degradation and processing of organic materials such as leaves and bark, as well as in the circulation of other metals, including aluminum, iron, manganese and calcium. But gold is so inactive chemically that this interaction is both unusual and surprising - it had to be seen in order to believe in it.
Dr. Bohu conducts further analysis and modeling to understand why mushrooms interact with gold, and whether this is a sign of large deposits under the surface.
Australia is the second largest producergold in the world. Although gold production reached record peaks in 2018, forecasts show that production will decline in the near future if new gold deposits are not found.
For a new generation of discoveries need newresearch tools with low environmental impact. CSIRO uses innovative science and technology to solve the most difficult tasks, such as providing the world with sustainable resources.
The industry is actively using innovativesampling methods such as eucalyptus leaves and a mound of termites — they can store tiny traces of gold and bind to large deposits beneath the surface.
“We want to understand whether the mushrooms we studied canknown as Fusarium oxsporum - and their functional genes - used in conjunction with research tools and help the industry find promising areas in such a way that it would be less destructive and expensive than drilling. ”
Researchers also stress the potential of using fungi as a bioremediation tool for extracting gold from waste.
Fusarium oxsporum is commonly found in soils byworldwide and produces pink mycelium or "flower", but scientists will not look for them, but particles of gold, which are visible only under a microscope. Perhaps in the future, “golden mushrooms” will find and extract gold for us and for us.
How do you like this discovery? Tell us in our chat in Telegram.