Kew's giant fungi collection
The biggest collection of fungi in the world will be created this week as Kew Gardens takes delivery of more than 400,000 specimens.
The fungi will be added to Kew's stock of more than 800,000 specimens to form a giant scientific collection.
Researchers are confident the enormous collection of 1.25 million specimens, which overtakes the million fungi specimens held by the US National Fungus Collection, will help them develop new life-saving drugs and disease resistant crops. Statins and penicillin are among the drugs that have already been developed thanks to fungi.
Among the specimens being delivered is mould – Penicillium notatum – which helped Sir Alexander Fleming discover penicillin and led to the development of other life-saving antibiotics.
Others are samples of microscopic fungi that in the early 20th-century were discovered to be behind the potato blight that led to the Irish famine, and another species that led to Dutch elm Disease.
Researchers are excited about the extent of the collection which will not only be the biggest but the most comprehensive in the world.
From the blogs
Owen Howells is a DJ/producer who grew up in Australia but was born in the UK. He came back to the U...
Justice, the bedrock of our society is for sale under the Government’s latest plan to sell legal aid...
Take inspiration from the green-fingered brigade who have been showing off their creativity at the R...
There are more empty shops on our high streets than ever before, says another report into the state ...
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 'He was always smiling': Lee Rigby named as Woolwich victim
- 3 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 4 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 5 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.