Fungal Kingdom: Threats & Opportunities
What might we uncover in an unknown biosphere?
The Fungal Kingdom is remarkable in the breadth and depth of its impact on life on Earth. Its six million species produce everything from edible mushrooms to infectious disease, and have major impacts on human health, the food supply, and the environment.
The harm that fungi can do is startling, causing epidemics in staple crops that feed billions and producing toxins that contaminate food supplies and cause cancer. At the same time, fungi are tremendously beneficial. They produce antibiotics such as penicillin, as well as immunosuppressive drugs that inhibit transplant rejection and drugs that reduce the risk of heart disease. They are crucial to the production of food. And fungi play an important role in the health of plants.
The complexity of the Fungal Kingdom demands a multidisciplinary approach. This CIFAR team includes diverse experts to understand the unique facets of fungal biology and develop new strategies to mitigate the threats posed by fungi and harness their extraordinary potential.
This new report, One Health: Fungal Pathogens of Humans, Animals, and Plants, highlights the remarkable advances in the field and provides updated recommendations to address scientific and public health challenges today.
Program member authors: Arturo Casadevall, John W. Taylor, Joseph Heitman, and Leah Cowen
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CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec as well as foundations, individuals, corporations, and international partner organizations.