"Fungus" is singular; "fungi" is plural. Don't confuse them!
Names of fungi, as with other organisms, consist of the genus followed by the species ("specific epithet"). The genus is capitalized, the specific epithet is not. Both should be underlined or italicized. Names of higher taxa (family, order, etc.) are always capitalized but never underlined or italicized. Here are some examples:
Nectria galligena is in the division Ascomycota.Some fungi have common names, but not many. Common names may be capitalized or not, but they are never underlined or italicized. Examples:
The common name of Fomitopsis pinicola is "red-belt fungus" because it usually has a reddish margin.
Phaeolus schweinitzii has a velvety surface and looks like a brownish lump on the forest floor. It has common names like "velvet-top fungus" and "cowpie fungus."
The most serious disease of southern pines is fusiform rust.In addition to diseases, there are names for types of diseases that are similar. They differ in the particular host or pathogen and often in details of infection, etc., but follow a general pattern that can be used in thinking about the diseases as a group. Here are some examples:
The greatest tragedy in American forest history was the devastation caused by chestnut blight.
A major disease of conifers in the northern hemisphere is annosum root rot, caused by Heterobasidion annosum.
Disease names like Swiss needle cast and Dutch elm disease are not much appreciated by the Swiss and the Dutch!
Both conifers and hardwoods are often infected by Armillaria species, which cause Armillaria root rot. The same disease is often called shoestring root rot because the fungus produces black, root-like structures.
Heart rots are often the most serious diseases in hardwood stands.
In western conifers generally, it is considered that mistletoes are the most serious diseases, but root and butt rots are probably a close second.
Exceptions are rusts and powdery mildews, terms used for both the fungi and the diseases they cause. The following are examples of what NOT () to do:
A serious disease of Douglas-fir is Phellinus weirii.
Leptographium wageneri is a root disease spread by root to root contact.
Heart rots produce basidiospores in conks.
Diseases and pathogens: general discussion
Introduction to fungi
Forest Pathology home page
College of Environmental Science and Forestry home page