The world’s ten most feared fungi


Kevin D. Hyde, Abdullah M. S. Al-Hatmi, Birgitte Andersen,Teun Boekhout, Walter Buzina, Thomas L. Dawson Jr., Dan C. Eastwood, E. B. Gareth Jones, Sybren de Hoog, Yingqian Kang, Joyce E. Longcore, Eric H. C. McKenzie, Jacques F. Meis, Laetitia Pinson-Gadais, Achala R. Rathnayaka, Florence Richard-Forget, Marc Stadler, Bart Theelen, Benjarong Thongbai, Clement K. M. Tsui.
Fungal Diversity


An account is provided of the world’s ten most feared fungi. Within areas of interest, we have organized the entries in the order of concern. We put four human pathogens first as this is of concern to most people. This is followed by fungi producing mycotoxins that are highly harmful for humans; Aspergillus flavus, the main producer of aflatoxins, was used as an example. Problems due to indoor air fungi may also directly affect our health and we use Stachybotrys chartarum as an example. Not everyone collects and eats edible mushrooms. However, fatalities caused by mushroom intoxications often make news headlines and therefore we include one of the most poisonous of all mushrooms, Amanita phalloides, as an example. We then move on to the fungi that damage our dwellings causing serious anxiety by rotting our timber structures and flooring. Serpula lacrymans, which causes dry rot is an excellent example. The next example serves to represent all plant and forest pathogens. Here we chose Austropuccinia psidii as it is causing devastating effects in Australia and will probably do likewise in New Zealand. Finally, we chose an important amphibian pathogen which is causing serious declines in the numbers of frogs and other amphibians worldwide. Although we target the top ten most feared fungi, numerous others are causing serious concern to human health, plant production, forestry, other animals and our factories and dwellings. By highlighting ten feared fungi as an example, we aim to promote public awareness of the cost and importance of fungi.

Keywords Aflatoxicosis, Batrachochytrium, Candida auris, Frog decline, Poisonous fungi, Human pathogens,

Indoor fungi, Forest pathogens, Wood decay