You are here

580b57fcd9996e24bc43c53e   LinkedIn Logo 500x500   Facebook logo square   Iguana Trans cropped

event icon
Start time
End time
Hong Kong branch

An online talk from 10:00-11:00 BST by Professor Gordon S Maxwell FRSB FLS for Biology Week

This talk looks at phytopathology in action. Most people like good mushrooms. I do too. But, these fungi also have members that do bad things like kill old and valuable trees.

Our story takes us to a tree and shrub blessed oasis of greenery in ultra urban, down town, Hong Kong. Here we take a look at two Banyan trees; one in good health and the other killed by two pathogenic fungi. These two trees are old, having decorated the 1.9 ha of the landscape around one of Hong Kong's oldest Clubs for around eight decades.

Banyan trees feature in Chinese culture and have a status described as fung shui which is part of a sacred woodland cultural tradition. To lose a Banyan is bad news. The fungi we look at are Basidiomycetes. Both can form mushroom like growths, which at times can be seen as brackets when their fruiting bodies develop at an advanced stage of infection.

Our two pathogens are: Ganoderma and Phellinus. Symptoms of infection include: leaf chlorosis; wilting, undersized leaves; dead branches and, when infection is advanced, fruiting bodies on lower trunk/ root systems.

We will look at treatment, which is not easy and no way as wise as prevention. We touch on an old concern of mycologists: can a pathogen be both saprophyte and pathogen? And finally we give a mention to an age old contradictory face of Ganoderma as featuring in both Chinese medicine and tree death.

Who should attend?

Everyone is welcome to attend this free online event and Zoom joining details will be sent the day before the event. A certificate of attendance will be issued for all attendees.


For event queries, please contact Professor Gordon S Maxwell FRSB FLS at
For booking and website queries, please contact Karen Patel at or on 020 3925 3443.

Our Biology Week logo is on all the amazing bioscience events & activities taking place over the week - let us know about your event & we'll add it to our calendar!