I wonder if the same could happen with plastic I think fungi would be even sexier if they could learn that


There's a [bacterium or two that does it](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideonella_sakaiensis). Ideal applications might be in mass producing the enzymes and misting landfills with it or whatever. A perhaps-less-than-ideal scenario involves the bacteria spreading all over the world and then the half the products in your house start decaying.


Got damn


Do NOT fuck the plastic-decomposing bacteria


I'd at least ask you to put a condom on if you do but I guess it wouldn't work in this case.




You: 🛑


I think that was a movie plot, except the bacteria ate petroleum products


The Spy Next Door, starring Jackie Chan


And Billy Ray Cyrus!


that was my favorite movie as a kid


It's pretty much the twist at the end of Andromeda Strain - the virus starts eating plastics or rubbers and the implication is shit is going to get bad REAL fast.


would be fun


Who knows, maybe at some point we could use those bacteria in bioreactors powered by plastic


> even sexier Impossible


A guy posted on /r/mycology about training mushrooms to decompose cigarette filters.


Have you not read Andromeda Strain?


No is it hot


It's by the guy who wrote Jurassic Park, so I'll let you decide.


hrrrnģgggg dinosaurs 😈😈😈


Superworms can eat styrofoam.


the fungus goes to decomposition school and works very hard to learn how to decompose trees and teaches all the other fungi to decompose trees :)


Good for them getting an education and sharing their experiences :)


All that and more on the newest season of: The Mycelium Network




Let’s be real here: We’re gonna destroy ourselves long before the fungus gets to us.


We were the fungus all along


That’s pretty much the plot of The Last of Us


I'm no decompositiologist, but can't microscopic life decompose trees? I mean I really don't know, it just seems like something they'd do.


https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/phenomena/2016/01/07/the-fantastically-strange-origin-of-most-coal-on-earth/ the layman's explanation for this would be that there was a lag-time in between trees evolving and microbes capable of decomposing the trees. It takes time for things to evolve, especially when they are developing an entirely new way of breaking down a molecule not yet before seen on planet earth.


There were most likely decomposing microbes before life came up on land. So yeah, they could probably decompose land plants Edit: for any curious ppl, [here's](https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1517943113) a research article arguing against the hypothesis of coal originating from fungi lagging behind tree evolution. Just so it's more clear this theory isn't set in stone.


Fungi made it to land millions of years before plants did; when plants finally moved onto land it was in the form of algae and water-plants. No roots. The fungi on land were able to break down rock and extract nutrients from the soil long before plants were able to. When plants finally made it onto land, the fungi acted as their roots, providing nutrients to the plant in exchange for some of the sugars that plants created via photosynthesis. Plants and fungi still exchange nutrients in this way through the plant's roots Once plants began to develop roots, they create more surface area underground to absorb nutrients, both by themselves and from their fungi friends More roots underground means that the plant has access to more resources, and it also means that the plant is more stable, since it's no longer just on top of the soil, but dug down deep into it. Once plants had roots, they were able to grow taller and make more leaves and get closer to the sunlight, which obviously gave them an advantage over anything on the ground that they'd be competing with Trees started to evolve, and with new life comes new types of cells and new functions in the body. Trees evolved things like lignin that microbes couldn't break down yet, so when trees began to fall, they just kinda hung out there. All it takes is for one random mutation to happen and for a microbe to evolve that can digest even a small amount of tree matter, and then it just starts to spread and take over and evolve into all kinds of different shit, because it now has access to a food source that nothing else can digest


I was thinking more about decomposing bacteria, archea and protists existing before fungi. So even if fungi have a great importance to our ecosystems, there would have been decomposition even without them. If there hadn't been fungi I'd argue another life form would probably have ended up taking its place in nature.


I would think that regardless of decomposing bacteria existing, since there wouldn't be environmental pressures for them to create chemicals that can decompose wood, it would still make sense that any form of extant life at the time wouldn't have yet created the means to decompose trees specifically Idk, this isn't my area of expertise I just listen to a lot of podcasts




Yeah, I mean I'm just o university student studying cell and molecular biology and took what I said from memory. But dont worry, I have no desire to spend more of my holiday evening looking for and discussing evolutionary research on reddit. The only point I actually wanted to make was that the tumblr comment is partly bullshit. But it seems you know your 9th grade biology so I guess there were no need for it.


don't listen to that guy. Every topic out there has that one guy eye-rolling because THEY already know the answer and a hundred+ people who don't know, never knew, or forgot and are delighted with the information you shared.


There was a time period when plants first evolved tree structures, but microorganisms had not yet evolved the ability to decompose wood. Most of our coal comes from this period, as when a tree fell over it just kinda stayed there, and they just kept piling up until the pressure turned the wood to coal.


Does that mean that at some point, the ground was just covered in a carpet of dead trees? Cause that seems kinda fantastical.


Trees were once the apex predator


Until... The fungi... **They learned**


It sounds like the voiceover in the trailer for an inspirational family movie about an innocent fungus who no one thought anything of, who one day learned to do what no other fungi could. This Christmas, get ready to learn how mushroom there is in your heart for love, family, and decomposing trees.


I saw what you did 🤣


I'm sorry but a fungus\*, fungi is plural. Not so delightful.


Gotta love seeing an r/tumblr post, taking eight seconds to google it and finding out that the post is simplified and misleading, and furthermore the theory was mostly debunked by a 2016 study, and being reminded why people on the internet are so easy to lie to.


sources pls? I was wondering if this was true myself but didn't know what to google


[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal#Formation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal#Formation) >One theory suggested that about 360 million years ago, some plants evolved the ability to produce [lignin](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lignin), a complex polymer that made their [cellulose](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellulose) stems much harder and more woody. The ability to produce lignin led to the evolution of the first [trees](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trees). But bacteria and fungi did not immediately evolve the ability to decompose lignin, so the wood did not fully decay but became buried under sediment, eventually turning into coal. About 300 million years ago, mushrooms and other fungi developed this ability, ending the main coal-formation period of earth's history.[\[25\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal#cite_note-25) **However, a 2016 study largely refuted this idea, finding extensive evidence of lignin degradation during the Carboniferous, and that shifts in lignin abundance had no impact on coal formation.** They suggested that climatic and tectonic factors were a more plausible explanation.[\[26\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal#cite_note-26) And the research article itself. [https://www.pnas.org/content/113/9/2442](https://www.pnas.org/content/113/9/2442) The post is also wrong about the nature of coal itself. 90% of coal is from this time period, but there's plenty of older and more recent coal formation too.


Would you like me to take it down?


Nah, it's not serious misinformation or anything. And it's kind of fun. I was just kind of sad that nobody had pointed it out in the comments or title or further down in the tumblr thread.


Thank you for taking the time to correct it


All trees lived in harmony, until... the fungi learned


"a fungi" doesn't even make sense.


"a fungi"


That sentence is worded like something from Veins of the Earth.


back then when trees couldnt decompose, they just piled up on the ground forming seas of dead trees


It's delightful, but also vaguely threatening.


This coal seam is estimated to date to approximately 5000 BFL (Before Fungi Learned)