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Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria

Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria

"Diagnostic descriptions, illustrations and information on over 2,000 fungal and bacterial taxa"

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  • Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria are a series of loose-leaf sheets issued in sets of 10, with four sets appearing each year. Each sheet provides a standardized statement of current knowledge about an individual species of fungus or bacterium, in an integrated format to assist identification or confirmation of identity of significant species. The statement, usually accompanied by an illustration, comprises: the organism's currently accepted scientific name and important synonyms (with full information about authors and place of publication);

    - a formal description
  • - information about associated organisms and substrata
  • - information about how the current organism interacts with those associated organisms and substrata
  • - geographical distribution
  • - notes on economic impacts, infraspecific variation, dispersal and transmission
  • - an evaluation of the species' conservation status
  • - general notes together with references to key literature

    The sheets are designed for use particularly by plant pathologists and veterinary and medical mycologists. Many species covered by the series are therefore important economically (for example in food spoilage or as crop diseases). Organisms of significance in biodiversity, conservation and other applied fields such as biological control of insects and weeds, biodeterioration, biotechnology and industrial mycology are also covered. Some more recent sheets deal with commonly encountered saprobes or facultative pathogens. Almost all fungi covered are microscopic, although a few sheets describe larger species, mostly basidiomycete pathogens.

Key features

  • - Diagnostic descriptions, illustrations and information on over 2,000 fungal and bacterial taxa 
  • - Fully searchable via a subset of CAB Abstracts
  • - Now available electronically
  • - Includes a complete electronic backfile to 1964
  • - Produced by experts in mycology and bacteriology
  • - Many of the illustrations are unique to DFB – many of the species are not adequately illustrated anywhere else

Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria are produced by CABI Microbial Services (which includes the organization formerly known as the International Mycological Institute (IMI)) the pre-eminent global taxonomy / information provider on fungi). Each sheet is written by an authority on that particular organism. Because of this expert authorship Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria are widely regarded as official definitions of the species concerned. Many of the pictures / drawings are unique to the series and a substantial number of species are not adequately illustrated elsewhere.


CABI has published Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria since 1964. The backfile - new in electronic format for 2006 - includes diagnostic descriptions and background biological information of approximately 2,000 species of fungi and bacteria, including many of the most economically important taxa.

Who uses Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria?
Scientists, extension workers and other professionals such as plant pathologists, quarantine officials, conservationists and veterinary and medical mycologists use the Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria for quick and easy identification of significant species and for related information on pathology or other noteworthy aspects.

CAB Direct (CABI's own platform)

  • - Fungal and bacterial pathogens of animals and plants 
  • - Fungi of benefit to crops and other plants 
  • - Fungi of importance in applied fields such as bio-control, biodegradation, biodeterioration, biotechnology, food spoilage and industrial mycology 
  • - Fungi pathogenic to man, and other fungi of medical significance 
  • -Fungi of importance in biodiversity and conservation 
  • - Common fungal saprobes and fungi important in forest nutrient recycling
  • - Microfungi, and some larger basidiomycetes 
  • - Fungi significant in education
  • - Fungi significant in ethnomycology, folk traditions and traditional uses


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