Fungus Invades Tree Body
This is a tree we cut down because it has a fungal infection. We had to cut it down because it was in danger of falling on someone else's property, so I don't know if the tree would have survived or not. There is a small sapling or branch that is still growing. But it is a good way to illustrate what is going on when a mold, fungus or yeast has invaded a body.



Here is a piece of a large branch with the bark removed. The black marks are where the mold was spreading around the tree inside the outer bark. This is called "spalting", by the way, and is prized by woodworkers for the attractive pattern it creates, as long as they need the wood for decorative objects and not something where the wood needs strength.



Here is the cut end of a section of the wood. The mold growing through the body of the tree is the small black circular lines near the middle.




Here is another interesting picture that may give some insight into the nature of a fungal parasite. After I left the cut wood in the house for a few days, it began to develop a mold in a circular pattern around the top of the cut section. The mold looked exactly like blue and green penicillium. There was also a brief while when a gray, filamentous mold formed which I would identify as butrytis, and there are a couple spots around the outside of the cut sections that formed a white mold, that looks like diplodia or "kahm" to me.



Next project:
The molds that grew on the wood faded after a few days, I suppose they were no longer being fed by the tree. I am going to try to revive them by feeding the wood sugar and water and then I will see if I can harvest a wild yeast from them that will ferment ale. I will make a fruit liquid into which I plan on putting some of the mold from the cut sections of the tree. I have no doubt it will ferment it, but I just want to be able to say I did it and saw it happen with my own eyes, that I fermented an ale or wine with the mold/fungus growing in tree.

Project results:
I took the mold that was growing out of the fungus area of the wood and put it in a solution of apple juice, sugar and water.  As I expected, the solution began to ferment. Once it started fermenting, I transferred it to a plastic soda pop and screwed the top on. Once it was fully carbonated (fizzy), I drank it. It was just as ordinary yeast-fermented beverage, except I alone knew that the yeast had come from a mold that had come from a fungus that had broken down, proving the Pleiomorphic Theory of Evolution. I now use this as my yeast source for all my yeast cultures.

These are more pictures of the tree cut down with the fungus growing through its body:



Pleiomorphic Theory of Evolution
This breakdown of fungus to mold and mold to yeast is one of the tenets of the theory of evolution by pleiomorphism. It is also speculated further that yeast will break down to bacteria, bacteria to viruses and viruses to prions. There may be intermediate stages and these are just the labels that scientists give to stages in the life process that they happen to take a picture of. There may be a continuum of life-forms.  My theory of evolution can be found here

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