Transcript profiling of mushrooms, such as Coprinopsis cinerea, Laccaria bicolor and Tuber melanosporum, have showed a striking accumulation of transcripts coding for various types of sugar-binding lectins in fruiting bodies. It has been suggested (e.g., by Markus Künzler at ETH-Zürich) that this accumulation of lectins, such as galectins, plays a role defense against fungivores. Clearly, mushrooms growing on the horse manure composting in the back of my garden are not accumulating enough lectins to deter slugs. Dozen of fruiting bodies have mushroomed today after the overnight rains … and now this is a slug feast.
For more info: Glycans and Lectins in the Defense of Fungi against Predators and Parasites (Institute of Microbiology, ETH).
Photo: © F Martin