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Mushrooms into Gold Nanoparticles

  • Context (IE): Researchers in Goa have successfully synthesized gold nanoparticles from mushrooms of the Termitomyces species, locally known as ‘roen olmi’.
  • This discovery pioneers the use of an eco-friendly species for mass production of gold nanoparticles.


Termitomyces Mushroom

  • Termitomyces is a fungi belonging to the family Lyophyllaceae.
  • It is the largest edible mushroom in the world, and its cap reaches 1 metre (3.28 ft) in diameter.
  • These mushrooms are often associated with termite nests or mounds, where they grow in symbiotic relationships with termites.
  • They are commonly found in regions with warm and humid climates, such as tropical forests and savannas.
  • They contain bioactive compounds with antioxidant, antimicrobial, and immunomodulatory properties, which may have health benefits.

Gold Nanoparticles

  • Gold nanoparticles are tiny particles of gold that range in diameter from 1 to 100 nanometers.


  • Optical Properties: Gold nanoparticles display vibrant colours ranging from red to purple, depending on their size and shape. This phenomenon is known as surface plasmon resonance.
  • Electronic Properties: They possess excellent electrical conductivity, making them useful in electronics and sensor applications.
  • Chemical Properties: Gold nanoparticles have a high surface area, which enhances their reactivity and makes them suitable for catalysis and surface chemistry.


  • Electronics: Nanoscale gold nanoparticles are being used to connect resistors, conductors, and other elements of an electronic chip.
  • Photodynamic Therapy: Near-IR absorbing gold nanoparticles produce heat when excited by light at wavelengths from 700 to 800 nm. This enables these nanoparticles to eradicate targeted tumors.
  • Therapeutic Agent Delivery: Therapeutic agents can be coated onto the surface of gold nanoparticles due to their large surface area-to-volume ratio.
  • Sensors: Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy, exploit gold nanoparticles as substrates to enable the measurement of vibrational energies of chemical bonds.
  • Probes: Gold nanoparticles also scatter light and can produce an array of interesting colors under dark-field microscopy. The scattered colors are currently used for biological imaging applications.
  • Diagnostics: Gold nanoparticles are also used to detect biomarkers in the diagnosis of heart diseases, cancers, and infectious agents.


  • Mushrooms are types of fungi, not plants.
  • They come in various shapes, sizes, and colours.
  • Mushrooms are heterotrophs. This means they rely on food sources in their surroundings for nutrients, such as animal waste, plant matter, and organic carbon.
  • They can be grouped into edible and non-edible types.
    1. Edible mushrooms include common varieties like button, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms.
    2. Non-edible mushrooms may be poisonous or have other harmful effects.


  • Edible mushrooms are used in cooking and provide nutrition and flavour to dishes.
  • Certain mushrooms have medicinal properties and are used in traditional medicine for treating various ailments.
  • They are also used in biotechnology for producing enzymes and other useful substances.
  • Mushrooms play vital roles in nature, helping to decompose organic matter and recycle nutrients in ecosystems.


  • Fungi are eukaryotic organisms that include moulds, yeasts, and mushrooms within the kingdom of Fungi.
  • They come in both unicellular and multicellular forms.
  • Yeasts represent the simplest unicellular type, while moulds like Rhizopus, Mucor, and Penicillium are examples of multicellular fungi.
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