AFP, 4 November 2008 - Will the Ferrari of tomorrow be fungus-powered? A reddish microbe found on the inside of a tree at a secret location in the rainforests of northern Patagonia could unlock the biofuel of the future, say scientists.
Its potential is so startling that the discoverers have coined the term "myco-diesel" -- a derivation of the word for fungus -- to describe the bouquet of hydrocarbons that it breathes.
"This is the only organism that has ever been shown to produce such an important combination of fuel substances," said Gary Strobel, a professor of biology at Montana State University.
"The fungus can even make these diesel compounds from cellulose, which would make it a better source of biofuel that anything we use at the moment."
The study is published in the peer-reviewed British journal, Microbiology.