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This book is the first in the new "CBS Laboratory Manual Series", and focuses on techniques for isolation, cultivation, molecular and morphological study of fungi and yeasts. It has been developed as a general text, which is based on the annual mycology course given at the CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre (Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures). It provides an introductory text to systematic mycology, starting with a concise treatise of Hyphochytridiomycota and Oomycota, which have long been the subject of study by mycologists, but are now classified in the Kingdom Chromista.
These are followed by sections on the groups of "true fungi": Chytridiomycota, Zygomycota, Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. This descriptive part is illustrated by figures of life-cycles and schematic line-drawings as well as photoplates depicting most of the structures essential for the study and identification of these fungi. Special attention is given to basic principles of working with axenic cultures, good morphological analysis, and complicated issues for beginners such as conidiogenesis and the understanding of life-cycles. Exemplar taxa for each of these fungal groups, in total 37 mostly common species in various economically important genera, are described and illustrated in detail.
In a chapter on general methods a number of basic techniques such as the preparation and choice of media, microscopic examination, the use of stains and preparation of permanent slides, and herbarium techniques are explained. Further chapters deal with commonly used molecular and phylogenetic methods and related identification tools such as BLAST and DNA Barcoding, fungal nomenclature, ecological groups of fungi such as soil-borne and root-inhabiting fungi, water moulds, and fungi on plants and of quarantine importance.
Some topics of applied mycology are also treated, including fungi in the air- and indoor environment and fungi of medical importance. Common mycological terminology is explained in a glossary, with reference to illustrations in the book. A chapter providing more than 60 mycological media for fungal cultivation, and a comprehensive list of cited references are also provided. The book is concluded with an index, and dendrograms reflecting our current understanding of the evolutionary relationships within the Fungi.