Fungi in the Environment

Does fungi have an economic impact?

Yes, fungi have had a direct economic impact over time. For example, fungi produce gallic acid, which is used in photographic developers, dyes, and indelible ink, as well as in the production of artificial flavoring, perfumes, chlorine, alcohols, and several acids. Fungi are also used to make plastics, toothpaste, soap, and in the silvering of mirrors. In Japan, almost 1.10231131 × 109 pounds (500,000 metric tons) of fungus-fermented soybean curd (tofu and miso) are consumed annually. But on the negative side, different strains of the rust fungus Puccinia graminis cause billions of dollars of damage annually to food and timber crops throughout the world. (For more about rust fungi, see below.)


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