A fungus found in a Patagonian rainforest could provide an alternative source of biofuel, according to new research.
The fungus, Gliocladium roseum, grows in the ulmo tree (Eucryphia cordifolia), a species native to the Patagonia -- the southern territories of Argentina and Chile.
Researchers, whose work is published in Microbiology this month, found that G. roseum possesses the metabolic machinery to produce a wide variety of hydrocarbons virtually identical to the compounds in diesel obtained from crude oil.
Because of this property, the volatile gases produced by the fungus have been dubbed 'myco-diesel'.
"Many fungi make ethanol, but none to date produce this kind of mixture of diesel hydrocarbons," lead author Gary Strobel, professor of plant sciences and plant pathology at the US-based Montana State University (MSU), told SciDev.Net.
A promising aspect of this discovery is that G. roseum produces myco-diesel directly from ...