Thursday, October 11, 2007

Luminous Tree at Mitauli of District Kheri India

Luminosity in Guava tree roots

How many people have seen luminous wood in dark nights in their neighbouring, I think some or none who will read this article. So I am telling you this story of interesting real natural phenomenon in my district. In the first week of October 2007, I heard about this unusual thing from my friends who live near this tree, Ya They informed me that a guava tree and its roots are luminescent and local people congregation at this place for worship and prayer of the Tree's roots as a "Lakkar Baba". This place is situated beside the Kathana river a rivulet of Gomti or Gumti river near Village Khanjan nagar ( The village name derived from Raja Khanjan Singh, brother of Great Rebel of Mutiny 1857 Raja Lone Singh of Mitauli ), The land along the edge of Kathana river, Where people gather togather in a religious garden for prayer named "Nariha Baba", There a local saga that Raja Lone Singh lived here and written two books Krishna Charit and Ramayana in Brijbhasa after exiled by british troops in October 1857.

Humen that used Jungles in fall enjoy a wealth of values. One treat reserved for hunters coming in late, firewood cutters finishing up after dark, and people hiking at night is Foxfire. Foxfire is a soft glow or light coming from the leaf-covered ground or dead wood. In other parts of the world this light is called "will-o-the-wisp" or faerie fire". But In India this type of light is called "the -light of allmighty" no dought this event or things are creating by God or Mother nature, You can choose one option among two, If you are a naturilist and believe in sciences you may choose this unusual light " Luminosity" is result of luminescent bacteria and fungi, If you are an arthodox you may choose another last option "God" who is creating things.............!!

Historical information about this magical cold light goes back a number of millenia. The greek philosophor Aristole noted the "cold fire" light. The Roman naturalist Pliny mentions luminous wood in olive grooves. In the 1780's a proposal was made that when wood became rotten, microscopic animals appeared in the wood and they glowed untill drying killed them. By 1800 descriptions from rotting mine timber were showing a relationship between luminescent wood and fungi. In the 1850's the wood luminescence was confirmed to be fungal caused and requiring moisture and oxygen. The first half of the 20th century was dedicated to publishing lists of species capabel of bioluminescence. Maharishi Valmiki was also mention this phenomenon in his great epic Ramayana.
It may be first time in India, bioluminescence in guava tree is recorded by me

Reason behind this faerie light_

The luminous tree roots is the result of fungus " Armillaria species". Especially Armillaria mellea and a closely related relative are common root rot and wood decay fungi found across North America, Asia and Europe. Armillaria grows in and on old stumps, dead trees, buried roots, and downed logs. The fruiting body of Armillaria is a small golden-coloured, stalked mushroom. This root like dark rhizomorphs, when they stop growing or when entering a resting period loose luminosity. The most actively growing and respiring fungal cells generate light. The conditions that allow the fungi to grow fast, allow light to be produced. The most important environmental features surrounding fungal bioluminescence is food suply followed closely by water, oxygen and temperature. Actually Bioluminescence is a type of chemiluminescence where light is generated by a chemical reaction inside a living organism. Bioluminescence is produced by the sudden decay of a high energy molecule to a lower energy form. The difference in the energy level for this one molecule is one photan of light which escapes.
We may understand bioluminescence is by comparison with photosynthesis. Bioluminescence is the reverse photosynthesis. In photosynthesis , aliving organism capturee light and carbon-dioxide to make organic materials and release oxygen. In bioluminescence light and carbon-dioxide are releases by breaking apart organic material using oxygen. Fungi generate light in two step process first is loading chemical energy from respiration or photosynthetic process onto special molecule, the second step is taking this energized special molecule called a "luciferin" (fire carrier) and combining it with oxygen in the presence of a special enzyme called a "luciferase". The result is water, a low energy or energetically decayed luciferin, and a photon of light. we may be see it 0in these equations.

L+2NADH=a=LH2+ 2NADH+ energy loading

LH2+Oxygen=b=L+H2O+LIGHT Oxygen-caused energy decay

It is not know what molecule acts as the fungal luciferin. From these equations two additional items should be noted. The first is that water H2O is generated at the site of light generation. The second item of note is that under extremely low oxygen contents, a surplus of the luciferin LH2 builds up. If oxygen is suddenly restored a "flesh" of brighter than normal light is generated.

Small field like mycology and forest pathology can be turned upside down something strikes the media's fancy on slow news day. Such was the case in 1992 when M. Smith, J. Bruhn and J. Anderson published an article in nature highlighting the ability of Armillaria gallica to form very large clones. All it took was for the media link that concept with the phrase, "humongous fungus", and the hounds were released. An article in The New York Times, afeature on ABC News with peter Jennings and David Letterman's Top Ten followed in quick succession.

Probably the coolest thing about Armillaria species really has nothing to do with pathology, Its mycelium glows in the dark! The mushrooms do not glow much. If at all but if you open a piece of wood with advanced decay caused by Armillaria, and view it in dark, you stand a good chance of seeing the luminescence. It helps to let your eyes adjust to the dark. The amount of light varies greatly from different pieces of decaying wood. It's not likely to blind you, but some pieces are quite bright. Other fungi glow, including in some cases the fruitbodies. but Armillaria is certainly the most common and widespread luminescent fungus. It certainly is wondrous thing to see in the night, bringing a strange mix of delight and spookiness. So it is easy to imagine strange magical things behind it.

Glowing wood has indeed found its way in to folklore and Indian mythology. It has been termed foxfire, atma (Soul) or devil in the jungles and light of God, Aristotle called it a "cold Fire'.

I stolen a luminescent stick of decay wood from the worship place, but next night I couldnot saw this magical light in stick so I have got an idea from that place where some people told that the luminosity start after 9 pm when these woods have wet by the "ouse". I adopted this theory in other way, after put it ( this stick) in water, I seen a magical cold light from it. Moisture, oxygen and temprature can affect luminosity of this fungi infected woods.,0015002500000005.htm
Krishna Kumar Mishra
Wildlife Biologist and Nature Photographer
77, Shive colony Canal Road lakhimpur Kheri-262701
Uttar Pradesh India


Roopa said...

Very well explained.

munny said...

definately! very well explained and its intresting

workhard said...

Hi, this is a really nice post. You have done a very good job. I actually saw about this luminisence microscopic creatures on a documentary, where some underwater creatures seem to glow.

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