When magic mushrooms turn blue

Scientists from Jena investigated the blue coloration of magic mushrooms after injury

Psilocybe cubensis turns blue due to an injury on the underside. It was part of the underlying research. Source: Felix Blei

Since the discovery of psilocybin, scientists have been wondering why the fungi of the genus Psilocybe produce this substance. Psilocybin is the strongly hallocinogenic compound that gives the fungi their effect. The team led by Professor Dirk Hoffmeister from Jena examined the blue discoloration of the fungus after an injury. This study provided finally an explanation for the formation of psilocybin, as reported in the journal "Angewandte Chemie".


Lenz C, Wick J, Braga D, Garcia-Altares M, Lackner G, Hertweck C, Gressler M, Hoffmeister D (2019) Injury-triggered blueing reactions of Psilocybe "magic" mushrooms. Angew Chem Int Ed, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201910175.


Daniel Braga de Lima
María García-Altares Pérez
Christian Hertweck
Dirk Hoffmeister
Gerald Lackner
Claudius Lenz
Jonas Wick

Science communication & accreditation

Friederike Gawlik
Charlotte Fuchs


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