Cookies on Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria

Like most websites we use cookies. This is to ensure that we give you the best experience possible.

Continuing to use means you agree to our use of cookies. If you would like to, you can learn more about the cookies we use.


The Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria are designed for use by plant pathologists and veterinary and medical mycologists. They provide integrated information to allow identification/confirmation of identity of significant species, along with related information on pathology or other economic significance.


Key facts

  • Diagnostic descriptions, illustrations and information on nearly 2,000 fungal and bacterial taxa
  • Fully searchable via a subset of CAB Abstracts
  • Now available electronically
  • Includes a complete electronic backfile to 1964
  • Produced by experts in mycology and bacteriology
  • Many of the illustrations are unique to DFB – many of the species are not adequately illustrated anywhere else.

Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria are produced by CABI Microbial Services (which includes the organization formerly known as the International Mycological Institute (IMI)) the pre-eminent global taxonomy/information provider on fungi). Each sheet is written by an authority on that particular organism. Because of this expert authorship Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria are widely regarded as official definitions of the species concerned. Many of the pictures / drawings are unique to the series and a substantial number of species are not adequately illustrated elsewhere.

CABI has published Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria since 1964. The backfile, available in electronic format since 2006, includes diagnostic descriptions and background biological information on nearly 2,000 species of fungi and bacteria, including many of the most economically important taxa.

Unique features

The printed version of the Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria is issued in sets of 10 organisms. Four sets are issued per year. Each sheet includes a detailed description of the pathogen and illustration, information about the disease caused, geographical distribution, transmission and references to the key literature.

The online version of the Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria  is enhanced in the following ways:

  • We have digitized each individual description and made it available online
  • The Descriptions can be browsed by date (for easy access to the most recently published material)
  • We have abstracted each Description so that users can search the entire collection using a special subset of our CAB Abstracts database (powered via our powerful CAB Direct platform)
  • Users can take full advantage of the indexing features that result from integrating the Descriptions into our flagship bibliographic database.


As well as print and online versions of all of the Descriptions produced in each year, a subscription includes the entire digital archive. The descriptions are available with an unrestricted user license.

Recommend Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria to your Librarian or Information Staff

If you think Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria might be useful to your organisation, why not recommend it to your librarian or information specialist?

We value your feedback

For any further information or help with any aspect of the site, please contact our helpdesk at

Subscribe today

To subscribe to Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria, please contact our sales team: e-mail