Mon May 10th 2010
Seminar Fungal fluid mechanics
Marcus Roper


To grow and disperse effectively, fungi must solve hard physical problems. I'll show how math modeling and table top experiments can be used to illuminate these problems and to connect events that can happen in less than the blink of an eye with the lengthy evolutionary paths taken to achieve them. I'll focus on two problems of recent interest to me:

#1. The forcibly launched spores of ascomycete fungi must eject through a boundary layer of nearly still air in order to reach dispersive air flows. Because of their microscopic size singly ejected spores are almost immediately brought to rest by fluid drag. However, by coordinating the ejection of thousands or hundreds of thousands of spores, some fungi are able to sculpt a flow of air that carries spores across the boundary layer and around any intervening obstacles.

#2. A growing filamentous fungi may harbor a diverse population of nuclei. There is evidence that this internal diversity makes pathogenic fungi more virulent, and allows fungi in general to better exploit heterogeneous substrates. I'll describe our experiments to map out the strong mixing currents that maintain stable populations of diverse nuclei at the growing tips.
Go back to the agenda.

The 10th Complex Motion in Fluids 2021
Max Planck Gesellschaft
Centre for Scientific Computing