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Fungal Footage Fosters Foresight Into Plant, Animal Disease

Mold and mildew may be doomed. Researchers are closer to understanding how these and other fungi grow. "Fungi have a big impact on our dinner plate," said Dr. Brian Shaw, Texas AgriLife Research plant pathologist. "We tend to think that getting food on the table is easy. But fungi are major disease-causing organisms for both plants and animals. With more research, we can find new ways to compete with them." Commonly known fungi are molds, mildews, mushrooms and yeast.

Anyone who thinks humans are not in an all-out war with pathogenic fungi need only know this: Some 70 percent of the major disease-causing organisms are fungi, according to Shaw.

That fact alone has researchers like Shaw going to great lengths to discover how to combat the negative aspects of fungi.

Shaw, for one, is challenging existing scientific knowledge with new observations on how fungal cells grow.
 
 

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