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Writer Fuel: Death Cap Mushrooms Formed a Real Cloine Army to Conquer California

Death Cap mushrooms - Deposit Photos

The world’s deadliest mushroom has been invading California by cloning itself, new research finds.

The poisonous “death cap” mushroom (Amanita phalloides) is an invasive fungus whose fatal amatoxin accounts for more than 90% of deaths from mushrooms worldwide, but how it spread from its European origins to colonize every continent except Antarctica has long been a mystery.

Now, a study published Jan. 31 to the preprint server biorXiv, has found a reason why: the California version of the death cap can fertilize itself and produce perfect copies, sidestepping the need to mate before wafting its spores over an unconquered region.

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