Study Shows Making Psilocybin Gives an Evolutionary Advantage To Mushrooms

Researchers find gene clusters that suggest making psilocybin gave mushroom a fitness advantage in natural selection.

February 2018

Researchers at Ohio State University discovered new psilocybin gene clusters in the genomes of 3 hallucinogenic mushrooms, suggesting horizontal gene transfer between fungal lineages. They hypothesize that being able to synthesize psilocybin may have “provided a fitness advantage in the dung and late wood-decay fungal niches.” The new genomes can be used as models in neurochemical ecology.