Western Program Director
(1986) University of Exeter, England
Areas of Expertise
Fungal Movement. Few scientists are aware of the extraordinary range of movements accomplished by fungi. The speed of these biophysical processes ranges from the slow extension of hyphae accompanying the penetration of plant tissues, to blisteringly fast mechanisms of spore discharge. Current research in the Money lab is concerned with spore discharge in basidiomycete and ascomycete fungi: How do these mechanisms work and how might they have evolved? Experimental approaches include (i) the use of ultra high speed digital video to capture images of spore motion, (ii) the employment of new analytical tools to study the chemical processes that prime these discharge mechanisms, and (iii) mathematical modeling of the launch and subsequent flight of microscopic spores.
Indoor Molds. From first breath to last gasp humans inhale the microscopic spores of fungi, usually to little ill effect. In recent years, however, the spores of indoor molds have acquired a singularly bad reputation. Stories of black molds that plague homes and poison and stupify their inhabitants have swept the nation. Stachybotrys chartarum is a toxin-producing fungus that has been indicted as the worst of all molds. No other fungus produces such a range of toxins in such high concentrations. But despite its unpleasant resume, medical evidence linking Stachybotrys to specific illnesses is sketchy. The way in which people might be exposed to the mycotoxins generated by this fungus is one area of uncertainty, and experiments on conidial dispersal in the Money lab are designed to solve this part of the indoor mold puzzle.
Fischer, M. W. F., Stolze-Rybczynski, J. L., Davis, D. J., Cui, Y., and Money, N. P. 2010. Solving the aerodynamics of fungal flight: How air viscosity slows spore motion. Fungal Biology 114: 943-948.
Fischer, M. W. F., Stolze-Rybczynski, J. L., Cui, Y., and Money, N. P. 2010. How far and how fast can mushroom spores fly? Physical limits on ballistospore size and discharge distance in the Basidiomycota. Fungal Biology 114: 669-675.
Fischer, M. W. F., and Money, N. P. 2010. Why mushrooms form gills: efficiency of the lamellate morphology. Fungal Biology 114: 57-63.
Yafetto, L., Davis, D. J., and Money, N. P. 2009. Biomechanics of invasive growth by Armillaria rhizomorphs. Fungal Genetics and Biology 46: 688-694. doi:10.1016/j.fgb.2009.04.005
Money, N. P., and Fischer, M. W. F. 2009. Biomechanics of spore discharge in phytopathogens. In: Deising, H. ed. The Mycota, Volume 5, Plant Relationships, 2nd edition. Springer Verlag, New York, pp. 115-133.
Stolze-Rybczynski, J. L., Cui, Y., Stevens, M. H. H., Davis, D. J., Fischer, M. W. F., and Money, N. P. 2009. Adaptation of the spore discharge mechanism in the Basidiomycota. PLoS ONE 4(1): e4163 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004163
Yafetto, L., Carroll, L., Cui, Y., Davis, D. J., Fischer, M., Henterly, A. C., Kessler, J. D., Kilroy, H., Shidler, J. B., Stolze-Rybczynski, J. L., Sugawara, Z., and Money, N. P. 2008. The fastest flights in nature: high-speed spore discharge mechanisms among fungi. PLoS ONE 3(9): e3237. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003237
Money, N. P. 2008. Insights on the mechanics of hyphal growth. Fungal Biology Reviews 22: 71-76.
Money, N. P. 2007. The Triumph of the Fungi: A Rotten History. Oxford University Press, New York. ISBN13: 9780195189711.
Tucker, K., Stolze, L. L., Kennedy, A.H., and Money, N. P. 2007. Biomechanics of conidial dispersal in the toxic mold Stachybotrys chartarum. Fungal Genetics and Biology 44: 641-647.
Money, N. P. 2007. Biomechanics of invasive hyphal growth. In: Howard, R. J., and Gow, N. A. R., eds. The Mycota, Volume 8, Biology of the Fungal Cell, 2nd edition. Springer Verlag, New York, pp. 237-249.