Fungal Biology 4th Edition
Book PrefaceFungal Biology 4th Edition
Fungal Biology (4th edition) is the successor to three previous editions of “Modern Mycology.” The text has been fully updated and expanded to cover many new developments in fungal biology. Each of the 17 chapters is largely independent, with a clear theme and crossreferencing, so that the text can be used to focus on selected topics.
The early chapters deal with the unique structure and organization of fungi and fungus-like organisms, including modern experimental approaches in fungal biology, and the many ways in which fungi respond to environmental cues. These chapters also cover the diversity of fungi, and fungal products including immunosuppressants, antibiotics, and mycotoxins that contaminate food.
Recent developments in fungal genetics, molecular genetics, and genomics are discussed within the framework of a “biochemical and molecular toolbox,” using in-depth examples such as the roles of viruslike double-stranded RNA for the control of chestnut blight, and the population dynamics of Dutch elm disease. Major sections of the text deal with the development of fungi as commercial biological control agents of plant pathogens and insect pests. In addition, one of the three new chapters deals with the symbiotic associations of fungi with plants and animals, and the biology of lichens. Plant pathogens and plant defense also are covered in depth, using selected examples of all the major pathosystems.
Two final chapters are devoted to the “moulds of man,” covering the biology, pathogenicity, and virulence factors of the major fungal diseases of humans, and the antifungal drugs used to treat these conditions.
This text is designed to appeal to both undergraduates and postgraduates. The emphasis throughout is on the functional biology of fungi, with several examples from recent research, and many tables and illustrations. The text is supported by a comprehensive website (available via www.blackwellpublishing.com/deacon), with over 600 images, many in color, including “Special Focus Topics” and “Profiles of Significant or Interesting Fungi.” My own images are identified, and can be used freely, without restriction. The website also has a large interactive (randomized) test bank of multiplechoice questions, designed to aid self-assessment and reinforcement of key learning outcomes.
I wish to thank many colleagues who have contributed to this book by providing images and resources. They include many of my doctorate students, and Nick Read’s research group at the University of Edinburgh, who have been supportive throughout.
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