254 pages, colour & b/w illustrations, colour maps
From the preface:
"Black colony forming fungi are commonly known as black mildews. These are the ectophytic fungi, infect the plants by spores and produce black colonies. When we sit with the microscope to study such fungi, the black colonies may be because of the enormous production of black conidia (Hyphomycetes or mitosporic fungi), thyriothecia without external mycelia (Parmulariaceae), external mycelium with orbicular thyriothecia that dehisce stellately (Asterinaceae), external mycelium with elongated or oval thyriothecia that dehisce vertically (Lembosiaceae), production of an external mycelium with sarciniform conidia (the form genus Sarcinella), production of an external mycelium with 3-septate or 4-5-septate conidia (Sarcinella or Questieriella), prroduction of the perfect state as Schiffnerula, globose perithecium (Balladyna group), etc. Though all these are commonly known as black mildews, the fungi belonging to Meliolales differ from all these in having an ecto-, or endo-, or ectendophytic brown mycelium possessing two celled appressoria, unicellular phialides (absent in Armatellaceae), globose perithecia (flattened globose in the genus Amazonia), having mycelia setae (Meliola and Ectendorneliola), peritheical setae (Irenopsis), perithecial appendages (Appendicelella), etc., which are the typical characters of this order. This order is divided into two families: Armatellaceae and Meliolaceae.
These fungi were earlier mounted in Lactophenol by taking scrapes and the coverslips were sealed. As we started understanding more and more about this group, we found that study of the colonies in situ merited much. Hence, a nail polish technique has been adapted. As more genera and species have been added to this group, the existing eight-digit formula became insufficient. Hence, a new digital formula with three groups of digits, each with five digits covering 53 characters so to distinguish all the genera and species, was adopted. Each taxon is supplemented with synoptic characters with the vital characters. The corresponding taxon is dealt with in detail in the taxonomy part and is supplemented with line drawings and photomicrographs, wherever possible. We will be happy and pleased if this work is referred by the researchers interested by or working with this group."
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