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Fungal science & research

Meet the scientists performing the latest research into fungal biology and learn about their work.

Find out about:

  • The science behind our understanding of fungal biology & ecology
  • Beneficial fungus-plant interactions
  • Fungi causing diseases in humans, plants, insects and animals


The Microscopic World of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi

We all know some great places to find fungi, from tree stumps and forest floors to garden lawns and mouldy bread. But what about the fungi concealed within the roots of plants all around you?

See some amazing microscopic images in this blog by Jen McGaley.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus in lettuce root. Image coloured by depth
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus in lettuce root. Image coloured by depth

The Adventures of a Friendly Fungus

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a fungus? Now’s your chance to find out!

This game lets you play your way through the adventurous life of a very special type of fungus: a mycorrhizal fungus. Mycorrhizal fungi form partnerships with plants, supplying them with nutrients and receiving sugars and fats in return. There are many challenges involved, from finding a plant partner to collecting nutrients from the soil. Can you complete them all?


Sequencing soil microorganisms

soil-samplingThe fungus Trichoderma afroharzianum T22 is used as agricultural fertiliser across the world and its effectiveness for increasing crop yields is well understood. However there have not yet been any detailed studies of how the fungus might affect the natural balance of soil microbes.

In the ALIENinSoil project, Dr Flavia Pinzari and the research team at the Natural History Museum is using a DNA sequencing method to understand the impact of the fungus.

Visit the NHM project page

Fungi of Antarctica

Beginning with a lecture by Claudia Havranek, Scientific Data Manager in UK Polar Data Centre, this film features interviews with Mari Whitelaw from the BAS Herbarium, Alysa Hulbert from BAS Archives and BAS Ecologist Kevin Newsham.

For other applications of fungal science and research, see

Business & technology

Fungicast !Fungicast

A podcast series exploring topical issues relating to medical mycology and the wider world of fungi with researchers and special invited guests - produced by the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology, University of Exeter.

  • What role might fungi play in the climate crisis?
  • Cystic fibrosis and the fungus Aspergillus - researching fungal infections in children.
  • Did microscopic fungi have a role the downfall of the dinosaurs.

Find these podcasts, as well as talks on medical mycology research and other activities, here...

Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia 

UPFC is a science project of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, partnering with the Humboldt Institute, Colombia, to understand Colombia’s useful plants and fungi.  The project aims to help improve people’s livelihoods, reducing inequality and gender gap by boosting Colombia's bioeconomy through the sustainable use of its biodiversity.

Watch the video to hear more about the project. Further details can be found at the project website:

Emerging fungal infections

We share our planet with millions of different types of fungi, which perform numerous functions that make our planet habitable. However, some fungi are wiping out susceptible amphibians and bats, and others are having a devastating effect on crops thus threatening world food security. In this talk, Prof Jan Quinn (BMS President) gives an overview of how we can tackle emerging fungal infections. (BMS Talks, February 2021) Watch the video.

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