Can you help science....as Andre Jagger asks.....keep on the look out for a Magic Blue Gym ... Solve the riddle of whether it glows in the dark!
In this final picture of the trilogy, I present a quick study of the species and then drill into the pigments. Gymnopilus species are generally yellow to brown. The pigments in Gymnopilus have been known to be styrylpyrones, since 1994. Here I describe two of these pigments, Bisnoryangonin and its derivative Hispidin. Now the exciting part of this is to note the colour change when the fungus is hit with very bright light! The colour goes from apricot-orange-brown to a bright yellow. It may be worth the experiment to determine whether this bright yellow is fluorescence in the visible spectrum, certainly there seems to be luminescence. Recent papers on bioluminescence in fungi all point to a similar mechanism, "Mechanism and color modulation of fungal bioluminescence", Kaskova et al. Science Advances 2017(3) 26 April 2017. The 4-hydroxy-2H-pyran-2-one ring system is common to most ( all ? ) fungal luciferins (light-emitting compound found in organisms that generate bioluminescence or substrates that get acted upon by luciferase enzymes and oxygen to produce light-emitting compounds). Hispidin itself has been claimed to be a luciferin. Given these facts, keep on the look out for a Magic Blue Gym ... Solve the riddle of whether it glows in the dark!