Fungi are vital to life on Earth but little studied – new species of mould were found on baby-carrier backpack and an oil painting

New species of porcini, chanterelle and portobello mushrooms were among 2,000 new species of fungi discovered in 2017, which scientists say shows how little is known about the organisms.

More than £30bn of edible fungi are sold each year, according to the State of the World’s Fungi report published on Wednesday by scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in the UK. But the lifeforms are even more vital to plants – 90% rely on fungi to thrive – and many human medicines such as penicillin derive from fungi.

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Read More New edible mushrooms among thousands of recently discovered fungi

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