Fungal Signaling: from Homeostasis to Pathogenesis
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Fungi play fundamental roles in nature in terms of decay of organic matter and beneficial mycorrhizal associations, which produce ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling and soil fertility (Gianinazzi et al. 2010). However, over 300 million people suffer from fungal diseases, and chemotherapy and organ transplantation have increased the number of immunocompromised patients susceptible to be invaded by opportunistic fungal pathogens that cause high mortality rates (Brown et al. 2012). Fungi kill over 1.6 million people annually (Jermy 2017) and these organisms destroy crops sufficient to feed 600 million people each year. Furthermore, fungal-produced mycotoxins contaminate 25% of the world’s crops causing food spoilage, while also eliciting negative effects on human and animal health (Oswald et al. 2005). Fungi have thus emerged as a major threat to public health, food security, and ecosystems (Fones et al. 2017).
Fungi are ubiquitous throughout nature, including hot deserts,...
The editor would like to thank all the authors who submitted articles to this special issue and the reviewers that contributed with their invaluable comments.
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The author declares that he has no conflicts of interest.
- Fones HN, Fisher MC, Gurr SJ (2017) Emerging fungal threats to plants and animals challenge agriculture and ecosystem resilience. Microbiol Spectr 5:10–2016. https://doi.org/10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0027-2016 Google Scholar