American scientists investigate how fungi of the genus Fusarium affect ice formation

American scientists have investigated the ability of fungi to produce ice nucleators. These are proteins that can trigger the process of ice formation at higher temperatures, writes Ars Technica.

There is a widespread belief in society that water freezes at zero degrees Celsius. However, in reality, pure water only freezes when the temperature drops to minus 46°C.

Freezing at zero degrees Celsius is due to ice nucleators. Until now, it was known that various organisms, including fungi, were responsible for the production of this protein.

So far, such ice nucleators have been little studied. But scientists Valeria Molinero from the University of Utah and Conrad Meister from the University of Idaho in Boise have tried to remedy the situation.

They studied the ice nucleators produced by the fungus Fusarium acuminatum. It turned out that they can both promote and inhibit ice formation more effectively than nucleators from other organisms.

Experts still have many questions, but the results of their work will be useful. The fact is that ice nucleators can be used for more efficient methods of freezing food, making snow, and potentially for cryogenic freezing of human cells.