Latest PSMS News
Spring "Hildegard Hendrickson ID Clinics" are now in session!There is no clinic for the holiday, Monday May 30. The last day will be Monday, June 6. Click here for more info.
Oct. 29 & 30 - Save the date for our big fall show!Click here for more info.
Contact a physician or Washington Poison Center: 1-800-222-1222More Poison Information
Spore Prints is the monthly newsletter of PSMS containing announcements of coming events and speakers, plus a variety of tidbits, trivia, recipes, and research developments.Spore Prints Archive
Tuesday, June 14 - 7:30pm
PSMS Monthly Meeting will be back to the normal day and location!
Revealing the Hidden Diversity in Parasitic Cordyceps Fungi and their Host Association with Insects & Spiders in the Neotropics
Doors open at 6:30 pm at the Center for Urban Horticulture.
Cordyceps are bizarre club fungi which parasitize a wide range of insects and spiders as well as false truffles. In the neotropical rainforest many display bright and vibrant colored fruiting bodies emerging from the leaf litter or decaying logs. Others are hidden away, attached to the underside of leaves. For understanding Cordyceps it is crucial to uncover and identify the host. Most of Cordyceps' life cycle takes place inside the host. After infection the fungus manipulates anthropod behavior, basically creating a zombie that moves to a location to die for optimal spore dispersion so the next victim is easily reached. This has recently been proven in the case of carpenter ants in Thailand and such behavior was also observed by some Amazonian Indians in crickets, beetles and even spiders since ancient times. Hearing those stories from her Colombian professor who had traveled with the famous American ethno-botanist Richard Schultes through Colombian jungles arose her interest in studying Cordyceps and its relationship with its host insects. For almost twenty years she has traveled across the jungles of Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil collecting, identifying and describing new species of Cordyceps. In this talk she will share with us the diversity of neotropical Cordyceps and fascinating indigenous stories regarding Cordyceps and its relationship with insects and spiders and analyzing these folk stories in the light of the scientific theories.
Tatiana Sanjuan holds a Ph.D. in Biology from Antioquia University in Medellin, Colombia. For almost 20 years her research has focused on the entomopathogenic fungus Cordyceps s.l. in the Amazon and other tropical rainforests. She started her research when she learned of the indigenous Amazonian myth about zombie bullet ants, the liana called "Yare" and Cordyceps. In her postgraduate research she published 5 articles describing 8 new species of Cordyceps s.l. from the Amazon and their relationships with their respective hosts. Currently she is working on the pharmaceutical potential of a new species of Cordyceps which parasitizes Tarantula spiders.