Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Fungal Pathogens of Insects

  • Donald C. Steinkraus
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_3914

Fungi are eukaryotic, heterotrophic, absorptive organisms. Most grow vegetatively as fine hyphal filaments and reproduce by means of spores. Fungi are vital parts of ecosystems, often playing a valuable role in decomposition. They include common important organisms such as bread and wine yeasts, edible mushrooms, the causative agents of ringworm and athlete’s foot, and fungi which produce antibiotics such as penicillin.

The classification of fungi is complicated and still imperfectly understood. Many different classifications and names have been proposed. Current authorities place the fungi in their own Kingdom, the Fungi or Eumycota. There are more than 56,000 described species placed in four phyla: the Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, the Chytridiomycota, and the Zygomycota. The Deuteromycota is an additional informal polyphyletic phylum. Aquatic entomopathogenic fungi, such as Lagenidium(Oomycota) that infect aquatic insects, are no longer considered fungi by some mycologists and are...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald C. Steinkraus
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA