The Diversity of Fungi

Fungi are absolutely cooler than you might think.

Think of fungi, and images of cheese gone bad, mushrooms and that annoyingly persistent infection between your toes are sure to pop into your head. But fungi are so much more than that.

The Westerdijk Insitute.
(Photo credit: Thijs Rooimans)

I interviewed Professor Pedro Crous, the director of the Westerdijk Institute in Utrecht, The Netherlands, to find out more about fungal diversity, and why it is so important to keep doing research in this extremely exciting area. Pedro is also instrumental in pioneering a citizen science project, where school children are asked to provide soil samples to the institute, where they will be analyzed for possible new species of fungi. Who knows, perhaps the next antibiotic or cancer drug lies just within reach!

These stunning pictures of fungi were taken by Jan Dijksterhuis.

Curvularia conidiophore
Spores of Penicillium
Aspergillus fumigatus

© Sheba AJ, Jan Dijksterhuis

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