Parasitic fungi: genus Ophiocordyceps or Cordyceps

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Parasitic fungi: genus Ophiocordyceps or Cordyceps by Mind Map: Parasitic fungi: genus Ophiocordyceps or Cordyceps

1. Host specificity: limited to infecting a single host species or few closely related species

1.1. C. cinensis: parasitizes moth caterpillar

1.2. Ophiocordyceps unilateralis: parasitizes ants

1.3. C. cuboidea: host to larva of beetles

1.4. C. cicadae: parasitic to the larva of Cicada flammat

1.5. C. cardinalis: pathogenic to the larva of lepidopteran (include butterflies and moths)

2. Life cycle

2.1. Attachment of spores of the fungus to the cuticle of the host

2.2. Spores germinate and break into host body

2.3. Mycelia grow by feeding on host's organs, however, avoiding vital ones

2.4. Fungus produces chemicals that cause behavioural manipulation of host, for ex., top of a leaf stem, to maximize surface area (for fungal transmission)

2.5. Fungus feeds on host brain once it is ready to produce spores

2.6. Fruiting bodies of fungus sprout out of host body and release spore-filled capsules

2.7. Spores spread over surrounding area to infect more hosts--life cycle continues

3. Ascomycetes parasitic fungus, all known species acting as endoparasitoids

4. Locations

4.1. South Asia

4.2. Europe

4.3. North America

5. Benefits

5.1. Food

5.2. Medicine

5.2.1. Traditional Chinese medicine

5.2.2. Treatment of respiratory, liver, renal dysfunction, heart and lung diseases, hyperglycemia, etc.

5.3. Population control: positive effect on jungle diversity

6. Host manipulation

6.1. Inducement of bodyguard behaviour

6.2. Coerce the host to care for the parasite's offspring

6.3. Ability to alter host behaviour in ways that enable fungal transmission and life-cycle completion

6.3.1. For ex., changes in metabolites of muscles during behavioural modification

6.3.2. Secrete compounds that could act as (ant)agonistic neuromodulators to alter behaviour

6.4. Affect navigation of host that leads to suicidal behaviour