Discoveries and innovations
from the fungal world
Samples of soft corals used for fungal isolation
Micro-basidiomycete on dead wood
Torrubiella/Gibellula on spider
Some facts and figures:
- Fungi can be isolated from virtually any place on earth, from the tropics to the poles and from mountain tops to deep oceans.
- The fungi Kingdom probably contains over 1.5 million species according to Hawksworth, 1991.
- Although these organisms have been studied for almost a century, the number of fungal species already described remains insignificant (80,000-90,000 species).
- Many of these described species are available only as dead herbarium material and have not been isolated into pure cultures.
- Geographic location, climatic condition, micro-habitat, substrate type, fauna and flora distribution are all important factors contributing to fungal distribution around the world.
- Relatively few countries, habitats and substrate types have been well explored for novel fungi discovery.
- Unlike other microorganism groups (e.g. Actinomycetes or Bacteria), automated isolation techniques for fungi are not yet possible because of the extreme diversity in fungal mycelium growth and texture.
- The study of fungal distribution proves to be a challenging task due to the currently sparse and heterogeneous taxonomic knowledge as well as the lack of mycologists around the world!
At MYCOSPHERE, we are aware of the tremendous reservoir of diversity that fungi can offer. Based on our extensive isolation programs, particularly on endophytic and insect associated fungi , we estimate that with the same extrapolation method as Hawsworth, there may be over 20 million fungi species, among which at least 5 million can be cultured in the laboratory without much difficulty.
Our research programs place emphasis on isolating groups of fungi which have been poorly investigated, such as:
Searching for micro-basidiomycetes on wood
Collecting samples in mangrove floor and trees
Sampling Rhododendron leaves to isolate endophytic fungi
Copyright © 2001-2018 MYCOSPHERE. All rights reserved. All Photos by MYCOSPHERE. Last update: 18 december 2018