Scientists Meet Scientists – Wednesday Coffee Talk by Prof. Dr. Hanno Schaefer on “Evolution of Color in Flowers, Fruits and Mushrooms”


Professor Ernst Rank and the TUM-IAS team invite the scientists of TUM and their guests for coffee each Wednesday. Just come over to the TUM-IAS after lunch between 1:00–2:00 pm and have a coffee with us, meet other scientists and listen to a short talk (10-15 mins) on a recent major TUM publication or issue – aimed specifically at a non-expert audience.

On February 5, Prof. Dr. Hanno Schaefer (TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan) will give a talk entitled “Evolution of Color in Flowers, Fruits and Mushrooms”. In nature, specific colors and patterns normally serve a purpose: The eye-catching patterns of the fire salamander convey to its enemies that it is poisonous. Red cherries presumably attract birds that eat them and thus disperse their seed. Other animals such as chameleons use camouflage coloring to protect themselves from discovery by predators. But climate also plays a role in coloration: Especially insects and reptiles tend to be darker in colder climates. Cold-blooded animals rely on the ambient temperature to regulate their body temperature. Dark coloration allows them to absorb heat faster. The same mechanism could also play a role in fungi, as the research team around Professor Schaefer found out.

RELEVANT PUBLICATION

Franz-Sebastian Krah et al., Nature Communications Volumes 10, Article Number: 2890 (2019) “European mushroom assemblages are darker in cold climates”. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-10767-z.

THE WEDNESDAY COFFEE TALKS AT THE TUM-IAS

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