Household hyphae: novel, remarkable, and obscure fungi of the indoor environment by: Joel Tanney

Meeting and Presentation

When: Thursday, October 1st, 2020, 7:00 pm

Where: This will be a Zoom presentation and will be limited to members only and not recorded, but will be live streamed to our Facebook page.

You will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 day prior to the event. 

TopicHousehold hyphae: novel, remarkable, and obscure fungi of the indoor environment

We spend approximately 90 percent of our lives indoors – but exactly who are our fungal housemates? A global survey sought to provide insight into indoor fungal biodiversity and develop an authoritative and reliable identification system. Fungal biodiversity was explored using indoor dust samples collected from 93 buildings in 12 countries worldwide, and subsequently investigated with an approach combining next generation sequencing and a novel dilution-to-extinction isolation technique. I will discuss some of the results from this research project with an emphasis on the ecology and taxonomy of some of the common, novel, and remarkable fungi identified and described from more than 200,000 sequences and 9,000 cultures.

Believe it or not, your home is an extreme environment filled with extremophiles: fungi called xerophilies, who grow on substrates with low water activities (think deserts and desserts). Learn about Wallemia, typically associated with dried fruits, jams, maple syrup, and salted meats, which is sometimes one of the most abundant genera in homes. Meet the obscure Diploöspora rosea, a forgotten fungus described in England and re-discovered one hundred years later from a home in Kosrae, Micronesia. Prepare to be motivated to vacuum and mop after seeing Aspergillus subgenus Polypaecilum, a group including some opportunistic pathogens of humans and dogs, which lives happily in extreme environments such as desert caves, salt mines, salted fish – and indoors. Forget the COVID-19 travel concerns and vicariously join me on a mycological grand tour from Canada to Mexico to South Africa to Micronesia and more.

Photo: James Holkko

Presentation: Joel Tanney

Joey Tanney is a research scientist (mycologist) with the Canadian Forest Service (Pacific Forestry Centre) who recently moved to Victoria from Québec in the fall of 2018. He studied forestry at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario but was bit by the mycology bug during a third-year forest pathology course and has never looked back. He completed his BSc. F. and MSc. F. at Lakehead University, PhD at Carleton University, and a post-doc with Richard Hamelin at Laval Université in Québec. His favourite fungi are dematiaceous hyphomycetes and inoperculate discomycetes and he looks forward to collecting and describing new species from Vancouver Island.

Comments are closed.