Mycology is the study of fungi (fungus). This includes their genetics, their biochemical properties (the chemical processes in them), their classification, their use to humans and their dangers (poisonous or infectious). Fungi are a source of tinder (easily combustible material to light fires), medicines, food, and entheogens (a psychoactive substance). A biologist who studies mycology is called a mycologist.
Mycology is closely related to phytopathology (the study of plant diseases) because most plant diseases are caused by fungi. Historically, mycology was a branch of botany (plant biology). Now fungi are known to be more closely related to animals than to plants.
Fungi are fundamental (essential) for life on earth: they are symbionts (an organism living in a mutually beneficial relationship with another organism from a different species), they are able to break down complex organic biomolecules and they play a role in our global carbon cycle.
Related pages[change | change source]
- Palynology, the study of tiny particles, including fungus spores