Bioluminescence #2

After my previous post on Panellus stipticus, a bioluminescent fungus, I went out near my house and collected from 4 or 5 different locations. I took them home and set them BioLum2up like I had previous collections. Some glowed (picture to left, notice the linear effect from the top of the limb) and some did not. The second picture is the same branch in daylight. I had water sprayed all specimens and kept them together until “the viewing”. Now I’m curious about why the glowing phenomenon was selective. They were all hydrated, and (based on form and condition) they all seemed to be the same age.

Pan2The collections on old branches glowed, but the ones I had chiseled off their substrate did not (Picture #3, we viewed the gill surface also). At first I thought it may be because, for some reason, the phenomenon of glowing required being connected to the substrate and mycelial mass, assuming it is in the wood as well as the bark. Then I got a call from Don at Silver Fir Media. I had mailed him the same log I used to capture my first bioluminescence, so I knew it had worked before, but he did not get any glowing. When Don got the sample, it Pan1had been in a dark box for three days. So, I thought maybe they need light to “recharge”, because the bioluminescence is due to changes in the energy levels of electrons. To test this, I put all my currect collections, hydrated, into the sun for a day. The result was I still got the identical selective pattern of which collections glowed.

So, to date, I am mystified why or why not bioluminesence. The same old basic science questions: (1) Why here, not there? (2) Why now, not then? We shall keep on collecting and observing.