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Researchers in Kasaragod find a unique type of bioluminescent mushrooms, but they advise against eating them:

Image Source: Freepik

In a remarkable discovery, scientists have found a rare bioluminescent mushroom, Filoboletus manipularis, in the dense forests of Kasaragod, Kerala. This unique fungus emits a bright green light at night, illuminating the forest floor and captivating researchers. The mushroom was found during a thorough microfungal survey carried out by the Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department’s Kasaragod division in cooperation with the Mushrooms of India Community in the ecologically significant Ranipuram forest.. Out of more than 50 mushroom species identified, Filoboletus manipularis stood out due to its glowing properties.

The bioluminescence in these mushrooms results from a chemical reaction between luciferin and luciferase, which produce light when combined with oxygen. This natural glow likely attracts insects, aiding in the dispersal of spores and supporting the fungi’s reproduction. Despite its fascinating appearance, scientists warn against consuming Filoboletus manipularis due to potential toxicity, as the chemicals responsible for its glow might pose health risks.

This discovery highlights Kasaragod’s rich fungal biodiversity and encourages further exploration and study. Experts like Dilip Kumar Rai stress the importance of such findings in understanding forest ecosystems. Dr. Jinu Muraleedharan, leading the research team, advocates for ongoing expeditions to uncover more about Kasaragod’s fungal diversity. The lush tropical environment and abundant organic matter in the Ranipuram forest create an ideal habitat for Filoboletus manipularis and potentially many other undiscovered species.

As research continues, scientists hope to gain insights from these luminous mushrooms that will enhance our understanding of local biodiversity and inspire conservation efforts to protect these natural marvels for future generations.

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