About This Volume

Fungi are amazing organisms. Just as other forms of life, they interact with their environment, especially with other living creatures. Their body, the mycelium, is a fascinating and plastic structure which can cover huge distances and, in particular, can adapt perfectly to the soil environment.

Mushrooms are just the top of this living iceberg, the cultures of which have been used throughout the world in medicine, the kitchen and for magic ceremonies, to give some examples. Fungal enzymes are the key to fungal success on Earth. Some of them are responsible for degrading the most recalcitrant polymers in nature and give industry tools for biotechnological transformations of large economic and social value. The capacity of biotransformation of fungi can perhaps help to ameliorate some issues related to Global Climate Change. Fungi also cause serious diseases, especially in plants, but they are largely responsible for their evolution, especially since they first colonized the land. Fungal secondary metabolites have changed the history of medicine helping to stop human pathogens which took a serious death toll just some decades ago. The fungal pharmacopoeia includes some of the most potent drugs and will do so in the near future when we explore new environments for fungi, such as the sea. Endophytic Biocontrol fungi can regulate populations of pests and pathogens, such as nematodes and insects, even under natural conditions.

The Encyclopedia of Fungi from MDPI will cover these and many other interesting aspects in a collection of ca. 50 chapters written by specialists from various fields in Academia, research institutions and industry.

Suggested Contents:

  • The Fungal Cell: Structure and Biology
  • Fungal Growth and morphogenesis
  • Fungal Genetics and Genomics
  • Fungal Biodiversity and Evolution
  • Fungi and the Environment
  • Fungal Ecology
  • Fungal Animal Interactions
  • Fungi and other microbes
  • Fungi in Plants: Pathogens and Endophytes
  • Applied and Environmental Mycology
  • Fungi as Cell Factories: From Molecular to Systems Biology
  • Fungi and Health. Antifungals

Published Entries

Amanita muscaria: Ecology, Chemistry, Myths
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Amanita muscaria is the most emblematic mushroom in the popular representation. It is an ectomycorrhizal fungus endemic to the cold ecosystems of the northern hemisphere. The basidiocarp contains isoxazoles compounds that have specific actions on the central nervous sys [...] Read more
Amanita muscaria is the most emblematic mushroom in the popular representation. It is an ectomycorrhizal fungus endemic to the cold ecosystems of the northern hemisphere. The basidiocarp contains isoxazoles compounds that have specific actions on the central nervous system, including hallucinations. For this reason, it is considered an important entheogenic mushroom in different cultures whose remnants are still visible in some modern-day European traditions. In Siberian civilizations, it has been consumed for religious and recreational purposes for millennia, as it was the only inebriant in this region.
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Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Agriculture
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Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are biotrophic symbionts forming close relationships with an estimated 80% of terrestrial plants suitable as their host. Via an established AM fungal–host relationship, soil-bound nutrients are made available to the host plant thr [...] Read more
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are biotrophic symbionts forming close relationships with an estimated 80% of terrestrial plants suitable as their host. Via an established AM fungal–host relationship, soil-bound nutrients are made available to the host plant through root cortical arbuscules as the site of exchange. At these sites, photosynthetic carbohydrates are provided to the AM fungus—carbohydrates that cannot be produced by the fungus. AM fungal–host symbiosis is very sensitive to soil disturbance, for example, agricultural tillage practices can damage and reduce AM fungal abilities to interact with a host and provide plant growth-promoting properties.
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Main Carotenoids Produced by Microorganisms
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Carotenoids are the pigments present in plants, animals, and microorganisms which are responsible for a broad variety of colors found in nature. Their capacity as antioxidants mainly established their marketable success as health, food, and feed supplements, and cosmeti [...] Read more
Carotenoids are the pigments present in plants, animals, and microorganisms which are responsible for a broad variety of colors found in nature. Their capacity as antioxidants mainly established their marketable success as health, food, and feed supplements, and cosmetics components. Currently, chemical synthesis dominates the worldwide market; however, due to the high biological value of natural carotenoids, the production scheme is moving towards microbial production as a profitable alternative. 
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Luis V. Lopez-Llorca

Institution: Multidisciplinary Institute for Environmental Studies/Department of Marine Sciences and Applied Biology, University of Alicante, Apdo. 99, E-03080 Alicante, Spain

Interests: biocontrol; nematophagous fungi; entomopathogenic fungi; chitosan; plant pathology; endophytes; fungal "omics"

Federico Lopez-Moya

Institution: Multidisciplinary Institute for Environmental Studies/Department of Marine Sciences and Applied Biology, University of Alicante, Apdo. 99, E-03080 Alicante, Spain

Interests: biocontrol; nematophagous fungi; entomopathogenic fungi; chitosan; plant pathology; endophytes; fungal "omics"