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VN needs fungi research: expert

Update: October, 12/2017 - 18:00
Lê Thanh Liêm, vice chairman of HCM City People’s Committee, speaks at the opening of the Asian Mycological Congress 2017 in the city.—VNS Photo Gia Lộc
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY – Việt Nam should have a long-term programme on mycological research as the country has a tropical climate, a favourable condition for developing fungi, the chairman of the Vietnam Mycological Association has said

“In life, there are millions of various species of fungi. They involve many issues in life, including use as food for humans. Many species cause diseases or are used as medicine,” Trịnh Tam Kiệt, chairman of the association, told the Việt Nam News on the sidelines of the Asian Mycological Congress 2017 conference, held in HCM City on Wednesday.

Compared to other countries in the world, Việt Nam’s mycological research and application is 50 to 70 years behind, Kiệt said.

Only research on mushroom cultivation and other fungi applications in agriculture are studied in the country, even though Việt Nam has the potential to develop fungi as medicine for treating cancer or other diseases, he said.

The government should increase investment and create long-term, comprehensive programmes related to mycology in many sectors, he said, adding that more scientists in the country should study mycology.

Lê Thanh Liêm, vice chairman of HCM City People’s Committee, said the city had recently made several investments in modern scientific facilities, mostly at the Biotechnology Centre and Hi-tech Agricultural Park.

These institutes, with teams of young scientists, have many significant contributions to agricultural science as well as mycology, according to Liêm.

Professor Lei Cai of the State Key Laboratory of Mycology at the Chinese Academy of Science’s Institute of Microbiology said: “Diversity of fungi is largely ignored as a public concern”, noting that there was a boom in emergent fungal diseases.

The Asian Mycological Congress 2017 was organised by the Mycological Society of HCM City. 

Kiệt of the association said that more than 250 participants from all over the world will have an opportunity to exchange experiences, technology and research work.

The congress, which ends on October 13, is focusing on basic to applied research on fungi in ecosystems, fungal biochemistry and physiology, and mushroom cultivation.—VNS

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