New fluorescent mushroom found in Kenting park

NATURAL GLOW::A graduate student came across the new variety in Sheding Nature Park. It is being grown artificially to study its mysterious glow

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Nov 27, 2013 - Page 3

The Kenting National Park Administration Office yesterday announced the discovery of a new variety of fluorescent mushroom — Mycena kentingensis — becoming the ninth variety of fluorescent mushrooms recorded in Taiwan and the 74th in the world.

The mushroom was found when Shih Yu-shen (施雨伸), a graduate student from National Chung Hsing University’s Department of Life Sciences, was conducting a fluorescent mushroom classification survey in the national park area’s Sheding Nature Park (社頂自然公園).

After finding one known fluorescent mushroom — Mycena chlorophos — growing in the park, Shih came upon another one nearby and, after identifying its shape and conducting a DNA sequence, confirmed that this second mushroom was a new variety.

The pileus (cap) of the newly discovered full-grown Mycena kentingensis is only 3mm to 8mm wide, has tiny bumps on the surface of the pileus, and glows fluorescent green, the office said. Like the M chlorophos, M kentingensis glows fluorescent green from its pileus and hyphae, but has a smaller pileus and grows on withered branches, the office said.

It said that as the glowing mechanism of fluorescent mushrooms is still unknown, the research team has grown M kentingensis in the laboratory so it can be studied.