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International symposium puts focus on fungi

29 August 2006

International symposium puts focus on fungi

The native basket fuingus (kopurawhetu), commonly seen on woodchip mulch in gardens. The fungus arises from an "egg" and expands to form a lattice-like structure that stinks of rotten meat. Photo: Peter Buchanan


A two-day international symposium about New Zealand’s amazing range of fungi is now underway.

Organised by Landcare Research, the meeting has attracted 55 participants from DOC, MAF, research institutes, hospitals, universities, and biotechnology companies, along with visiting researchers from Japan, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, and the USA.

Participants will address a broad range of research, including studies about fungi of our native forests, wood-decaying fungi, fungi that are toxic to animals, fungi causing diseases of plants and humans, fungi in houses, and fungi found on dead animal carcasses. They will also discuss identification of fungi using DNA, which is increasingly important for research and for rapid diagnosis of invasive fungi. Additionally they will seek to answer the question: are there really 22,000 species of fungi in New Zealand?

Fungi are completely different from plants (flora), much more numerous, and are more closely related to animals than to plants.

The New Zealand Fungal Symposium 9 am – 5 pm, Tuesday August 29 and Wednesday August 30 Barrycourt Suites Hotel & Conference Centre 10-20 Gladstone Road, Parnell, Auckland

Media are welcome throughout.


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