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Mycologists now look at the genes of fungi to decipher many features that they have been studying in the past beyond just looking at the morphology and other such traits of these organisms. Fungi are also attracting the attention of scientists in various other disciplines. These include the search for useful fungi in various extreme environments that may be useful in other ways such as for their therapeutic value. Fungi are known to produce low molecular weight compounds and several cholesterol-lowering ones like the statins. Compounds such as the cytochalasins, peptaibols, grisan and scirpene derivatives are found only in fungi. Nanotechnology has opened many new areas of research including the use of microorganisms in the biosynthesis of nano-materials, including fungi.
This volume aims to bring together what we know about the fungi from different environments. It comprises of 14 chapters written by experts in their chosen area of specialization and covers fungi from various environments such as air, water (freshwater and marine), palaeo-environment, and their influence on the environment and their management.