A microscopy image of
Aspergillus fumigatus fungus, one of the biggest killers of patients with weak immune systems.
Mark Stappers/Kevin Mackenzie
Fungi perform a vital role in the biological cycle, but pose an increasing danger to human health – invasive fungal infections kill three times more people than malaria.
New study shows parasitic Escovopsis fungus attacks the bacteria leafcutter ants use to protect themselves.
Ant colonies direct traffic flows of millions of individuals along the best routes – army ants even manage inbound and outbound lanes – but how?
Insects aren't known for having big brains, and slime moulds and fungi don't have any. So how do they solve challenges that test the ingenuity of human transport engineers?
Mushrooms for many are just an addition to a slice of pizza, but the fungi are now gaining a reputation for their nutrients.
Mushrooms, long popular on pizza and in cooking, are getting more attention for their health benefits. Here are some reasons you might want to add them to your grocery list and not just your pizza.
The sweet-smelling, fluffy white fungus,
Huntiella moniliformis, engaging in sexual reproduction in the lab.
Understanding the sex lives of fungi can help in finding answers about disease control.
The polyphagous shothole borer is tiny - but a fungus it’s commonly associated with can be deadly for trees.
Wilhelm de Beer
The beetle and the fungus have devastated trees in California in the US as well as in Israel. Now they're in South Africa.
Potting mix is known to carry harmful bacteria and fungi.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
The risk of bacterial or fungal infection from potting mix is very low. Wearing gloves and washing your hands will keep it even lower.
Autumn edible mushrooms, mostly Boletus edulis.
The global mushroom industry is worth $35 billion yearly and growing. But mushrooms and other fungi play important ecological roles that scientists are still learning about – and some may be endangered.
Aspergillus fungal culture.
When it comes to fighting antimicrobial resistance, most of the focus is on bacteria. But we'd be foolish to forget about fungi.
Four organisms that show nature isn't so easily categorised.
Soil needs the right structure and microbial ecology to help your plants grow.
Soil is more than just dirt. It's a complex ecosystem and if it's healthy your plants will be happier.
‘Windy, isn’t it?’
It seems that plants use social media, too.
You couldn’t enjoy cheese like this without the intervention of micro-organisms.
Many of us shirk at the thought of bacteria or fungus in our food, but without them, we wouldn't have many of our favourite foods.
How microbes are the key ingredients when it comes to concocting a gourmet menu.
Your home is full of fungi.
Mould image from www.shutterstock.com
Moulds and fungi have been living with us for thousands of years - you just might not think about them until they become a problem.
The world’s driest areas are tipped to get even drier, with potentially worrying implications for soil productivity.
The world's 'drylands' – already home to 38% of the world's people – are set to dry out even more. And that could harm the soil microbes that keep soils healthy and help crops to grow.
Fungi that live inside plants can fight off nasty insect pests.
Not just a pretty face.
Luminous fungi have evolved pale green light to attract insects to spread their spores.
That’s a tasty-looking risotto, but it might also contain mushroom species not yet known to science.
Mycologists – scientists who study fungi – estimate there are up to five million species of fungi on Earth. Of these, only about 2%, or 100,000 species, have been formally described. So where are the other…
When microbes cause ants to become zombies.
One of most famous fungi in the world is the “zombie ant fungus”. It takes over the mind of an ant, causing it to climb up a branch and cling to the underside of a leaf before mummification. Once locked…