Journal of Plant Physiology & Pathology ISSN: 2329-955X

Mycology

Mycology is the Study of fungi, including mushrooms and yeasts. Fungi inhabit almost every niche in the environment and humans are exposed to these organisms in various fields of life. Many fungi are useful in medicine and industry. Mycological research has led to the development of such antibiotic drugs as penicillin, streptomycin, and tetracycline. Mycology also has important applications in the dairy, wine, and baking industries and in the production of dyes and inks. Medical mycology is the study of fungus organisms that cause disease in humans. Fungi are fundamental for life on earth in their roles as symbionts, e.g. in the form of mycorrhizae, insect symbionts, and lichens. Many fungi are able to break down complexorganic biomolecules such as lignin, the more durable component of wood, and pollutants such as xenobiotics, petroleum, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. By decomposing these molecules, fungi play a critical role in the global carbon cycle. Fungi and other organisms traditionally recognized as fungi, such as oomycetes and myxomycetes (slime molds), often are economically and socially important, as some cause diseases of animals (such as histoplasmosis) as well as plants (such as Dutch elm disease and Rice blast). Many fungi produce toxins, antibiotics, and other secondary metabolites. For example, the cosmopolitan (worldwide) genus Fusarium and their toxins associated with fatal outbreaks of alimentary toxic aleukia in humans. Many fungi produce biologically active compounds, several of which are toxic to animals or plants and are therefore called mycotoxins. Of particular relevance to humans are mycotoxins produced by molds causing food spoilage, and poisonous mushrooms

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