Can fungus clean up Buffalo's lead contaminated soil?

Published March 10, 2022


Spectrum News 1 aired a story on research underway at UB in which scientists are examining whether a fungus can clean up lead-contaminated soil in Buffalo. Spectrum interviewed lead researchers Prathima Nalam, assistant professor in the Department of Materials Design and Innovation, and Katarzyna Kordas, associate professor of epidemiology and environmental health.

The fungus, called Mycelium, is the network of a mushroom’s roots. “They form this brain-like network inside the soil and they communicate with other trees and species within the soil,” Nalam explained, adding that mycelium also transfers oxygen and controls the toxicity of the soil.

Kordas discussed the growth in urban gardening in Buffalo and how problematic it could be if families are growing food in contaminated soil. “It can affect children when they play outside, or eat vegetables that are raised in contaminated soil,” Kordas explained.

Read the story here.