Fungi are ubiquitous and cosmopolitan in distribution. Fungi are non-chlorophyllous organisms that occur in diversified habitats as saprophytes and parasites. Fungi are the second species-rich organism group after insects. It is more challenging to complete the fungal inventory as compared to other organisms such as plants. Fungi play an important role in decomposition, industry, agriculture, medicine, biotechnology and other related aspects of human welfare. The fungal flora is rich and diverse. Today around 140,000 fungal species are reported from the world.
In this book, the morphological illustrations are depicted for the identification of different groups of agriculturally important fungi isolated from soil, seeds and plant materials. Many of these fungi influence plant growth and thereby its yield. Descriptions and photo-micrographs of these fungi are helpful for the identification of fungi and thereby disease diagnosis. However, only a few books are available with pictorial morphological descriptions for different groups of fungi. In the plant pathological fields, mycological studies are a prerequisite to determining the causal agents of the diseases, including isolations, preservation, classification and identification.
The fungi illustrated in this book were isolated, purified and preserved during their morphological characterization studies. Many of the given fungi are important plant pathogens but some of them are not pathogenic to plants. These saprophytic fungi have been studied to find effective biocontrol agents among them. Since biocontrol practices are being used widely in the current scenario of organic farming to control plant diseases, many of biocontrol fungal species have been included in this publication. In this book, 195 species of fungi that have been studied mycologically were described with illustrations.
Only a few references or monographs are available on the morphological characterization of different groups of fungi. Therefore, this book may be of greater importance to students and researchers.
I. Mycological characterization of agriculturally important fungi
II. Mycological techniques and other Requirements
1. General methods to study fungi
2. Methods of obtaining pure fungal cultures
3. Preservation and maintenance of fungal cultures
4. Glossary of mycological terms