15 Feb, 2018 570 Biology

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss fungi. These organisms are not plants or animals but a kingdom of their own. Millions of species of fungi live on the Earth and they play a crucial role in ecosystems, enabling plants to obtain nutrients and causing material to decay. Without fungi, life as we know it simply would not exist. They are also a significant part of our daily life, making possible the production of bread, wine and certain antibiotics. Although fungi brought about the colonisation of the planet by plants about 450 million years ago, some species can kill humans and devastate trees.

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  • Lynne Boddy No other episodes
    Professor of Fungal Ecology at Cardiff University
  • Sarah Gurr No other episodes
    Professor of Food Security in the Biosciences Department at the University of Exeter
  • David Johnson No other episodes
    N8 Chair in Microbial Ecology at the University of Manchester

Reading list

  • The Biology of Soil: A Community and Ecosystem Approach
    Richard Bardgett (Oxford University Press, 2005) Google Books →
  • From Another Kingdom: The Amazing World of Fungi
    Lynne Boddy and Max Coleman (eds.) (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2010)
  • The Fungal Kingdom
    Joseph Heitman et al (eds.) (ASM Press, 2018)
  • Fungal Disease in Britain and the United States 1850-2000: Mycoses and Modernity
    Aya Homei and Michael Worboys (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) Google Books →
  • Mycorrhizal Symbiosis: third edition
    S.E. Smith and D.J. Read (Academic Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • Fungi - Collins New Naturalist Library, vol 96
    Brian Spooner and Peter Roberts (Harper Collins, 2005)

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Programme ID: b09r3nwl

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Auto-category: 579.5 (Fungi)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, our planet is home to millions of species of fungi and the role they play is vital.