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Plant-fungi symbiosis in Zetsubou


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This is just a short talk about the role of fungi in Zetsubou no Shima (I was bored during my lecture).

 

Something you should know about fungi is their ability to mutate, very fast. As they reproduce with thousands of spores, there always is a high chance that one or several of the spores is genetically randomly mutated. If this mutant is beneficial to a certain (hazardous) environment, the mutant will thrive and reproduce even more. This is also why it is so difficult to develop fungicides to fight pathogenic fungi: resistance is not uncommon under mutants. Another example of a pretty cool adaptation of fungi: in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone there have been found radiotrophic fungi for the first time ever. These are fungi that are able to convert Gamma radiation into chemical energy for growth and reproduction. There is no doubt that comparable fungi would thrive in a 115-contaminated swamp like Zetsubou no Shima, converting 115 into usable energy.

 

One specific type of fungi are the symbionts, involved in close, symbiotic associations. This is mostly the case with plants, where fungi and the roots of a plant form an entity also known as mycorrhiza. Basically, the fungi absorb minerals from the soil, exchanging it with nutrients from the plant, therefore being mutually beneficial to both organisms. A spore can also ‘lead’ the roots to a place with more minerals, energy, etc.

We can confirm that the plants at this island grow very rapidly upon being watered with water contaminated with 115: Presumably the 115 ions in the water works as some kind of energy-supplying “super fertilizer” that overloads the plant cells with beneficial energy from the Aether. So keep in mind the plants “want” 115, and are likely growing to the direction of areas with an optimum of 115 contamination.

 

If we look to the orange moulds in Zetsubou no Shima, one can clearly see that a symbiosis is going on here: spore-infested zombies are being swallowed by the roots and vines of the 115-contaminated plants that lure subsoil. One can say the Thrashers are a result of a mycorrhiza between the fungi and the plants. How? Keep in mind that a zombie is a reservoir of 115, and upon inhalation of the spores the plant may rapidly grow inwards the body due to the excess of tasteful ethereal energy the plant gains via the element. So the spores allow a rapid formation of an enormous mycorrhiza that becomes the Thrasher.

 

In short words, you better do not let the undead become contaminated with opportunistic spores!

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The KT-4 / Masamune also plays a big role in the evolutionary path certain plants take, creating even more diverse plants with better effects such as the Drop Plant that can give better guns or even an AA Bullet, presumably under the same principles the Mystery Box uses, the Perk Fruit which empowers the consumer or makes them uncontrollably vomit, and the Imprint Pod which literally makes a functional clone in stasis of whatever imprints on it! Nature is a fickle mistress....

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1 hour ago, clueless said:

The KT-4 / Masamune also plays a big role in the evolutionary path certain plants take, creating even more diverse plants with better effects such as the Drop Plant that can give better guns or even an AA Bullet, presumably under the same principles the Mystery Box uses, the Perk Fruit which empowers the consumer or makes them uncontrollably vomit, and the Imprint Pod which literally makes a functional clone in stasis of whatever imprints on it! Nature is a fickle mistress....

I like that idea how the random weapon principle could work the same as the Mystery Box.

 

Adding to this, an inscription of the KT-4 / Masamune reads "731細菌戦の研究機関", roughly translating to "Research Institution 731 of Bacterial Warfare". Unit 731 is an umberella organization under which Division 9 falls, but I found it interesting they explecitely mentioned 'bacterial'. Several Unit 731 divisions have created experimental weapons regarding bacteria, such as the Bubonic Plague, Anthrax and Syphilis. I found it interesting they decided to add this name of 'Bacterial Warfare' on a weapon that is manufactured by Division 9, a subdivision seemingly focussing on 115 and living organisms. Did they also do research on the effects of 115 on bacteria? Are the bubonic effects the weapon seems to have on zombies related to some type of bacterium?

 

Just thinking about it, there are also certain types of bacteria that can live in symbiosis with plants, similar to fungi/mycorrhiza.

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