Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Mycology

Mycology is the study of fungi. Fungi constitute one of the most diverse groups of eukaryotic organisms on earth, second only to insects in the number of species thought to exist. Although there are estimated to be over 1.5 million species of fungi, less than 100,000 species (~ 7%) have been discovered and formally described. Fungi include such things commonly referred to as mushrooms, morels, molds, yeasts, truffles, stinkhorns, rusts, smuts, chanterelles, puffballs, and polypores. The Fungi are divided into five major groups: Chytridiomycota, Zygomycota, Glomeromycota, Ascomycota, and Basidiomycota.

Once thought to be plants, fungi are actually more closely related to animals. Fungi are believed to have diverged from animals around a billion years ago and now constitute an independent group equal in rank to that of plants and animals. Fungi are found in all ecosystems throughout the world where they play vital roles as primary decomposers, plant pathogens, and mycorrhizal associates. As decomposers, fungi are essential for degrading organic matter and recycling vital elements such as nitrogen and phosphorus back into the ecosystem. Without fungi we would quickly be buried in debris! Some of the most destructive plant pathogens such as Dutch Elm Disease and Chestnut Blight are fungi. Fungi also form symbiotic (mutually beneficial) associations with over 90% of land plants. The fungi provide nutrients and water to the plants, while the plants return the favor by providing sugars to the fungi. Fungi are also beneficial in that they are responsible for the production of alcohol, the antibiotic known as penicillin, and the immunosuppressant drug cyclosporine.


Most INHS mycologial research is listed in our Annual Reports.

See our Publications Catalog for articles published at INHS.

The mycology curators and staff at the Illinois Natural History Survey are: 
Dr. Andrew N. Miller, Fungi Curator
Dr. J. Leland Crane, Fungi Curator Emeritus
Dr. Loy R. Phillippe, Fungi Collection Manager


Some past articles published in INHS Reports:

  1. December 62, page 1, “The Lovely Carnation”
  2. February 63, page 4, “Current Currants”
  3. #18, April 64, page 1, “Report on Elms”
  4. #28, February 65, page 3, “Oak Wilt”
  5. #30, April 65, page 1, ‘“Common Cold” of Sycamore’
  6. #31, May 65, page 2, “Bidrin”
  7. #37, November 65, page 2, “Root Rot of Pine”
  8. #39, January 66, page 2, “Alpine Currant Anthracnose”
  9. #40, February 66, page 2, “A New Sycamore Disease”
  10. #41, March 66, page 2, “Dutch Elm Disease”
  11. #46, August 66, page 3, “Movement Tester”
  12. #49, November 66, page 1, “A New Friend” (Beauveria sp.)
  13. #50, December 66, page 2, “Sweet Gum Canker”
  14. #52, February 67, page 1, “Pine Problems” (Dothistroma pini)
  15. #56, June 67, page 2, “Not Catching” (Sycamore Anthracnose)
  16. #57, July 67, page 1, “Diseases by the Score”
  17. #59, September 67, page 2, “Which Wilt is Which?”
  18. #60, October 67, page 2, “Juniper Blight”
  19. #61, November 67, page 1, “Puzzling Killer” (Verticillium Wilt Fungus)
  20. #62, December 67, page 2, “Tiny Pushups”
  21. #69, July 68, page 1, “Foam Fungus”
  22. #72, October 68, page 2, “More About Verticillium Wilt”
  23. #73, November 68, page 1, “Pretty Pointsettias” (Root Rot)
  24. #74, December 68, page 2, “Fungicide Testing”
  25. #77, March 69, page 2, “Offbeat Glads”
  26. #80, June 69, page 2, “Moldy Waters”
  27. #88, February 70, page 2, “Insight on Dutch Elm Disease”
  28. #90, April 70, page 1, “Post-mortem for Twin-city Elms”
  29. #92, June 70, page 3, “Verticillium Wilt of Trees”
  30. #94, August 79, page 2, “Vinca Blight”
  31. #96, October 70, page 2, “Cantankerous Disease”
  32. #98, December 70, “Yuletide Fungus” (Dendrosporium lobatum)
  33. #112, February 72, “Twig Blight Fight”
  34. #114, April 72, page 1, “Fungi and Water Quality”
  35. #116, June 72, page 2, “Stress and Tree Diseases”
  36. #120, October 72, page 3, “Municipal Control of Dutch Elm Disease”
  37. #122, December 72, page 1, “Climate Effects on Gladiolus Corm Rot”
  38. #126, April 73, page 2, “How Verticillium Gets into Trees”
  39. #136, April 74, page 2, “Walnut Anthracnose Study”
  40. #138, page 2, “Elm Diseases”
  41. #142, December 74, page 3, “Soil-injection Treatment for Tree Diseases”
  42. #148, June 75, page 2, “Fungi in Freshwater Habitats”
  43. #155, March 76, page 3, “The Effect of Soil-injected Fungicide on Earthworm Populations”
  44. #159, September 76, page 1, “Study of Aquatic Fungi in Illinois”
  45. #171, November 77, page 1, “Cristulariella Leaf Spot of Black Walnut”
  46. #173, January 78, page 3, “New Aquatic Fungi” (Trichocladium spp.)
  47. #187, May 79, page 1, “The Persistence of Benomyl on Walnut Fruit”
  48. #189, Sept. 79, page 1, “A Newly Discovered Fungus” (CS-470)
  49. #200, October 80, page 2, “Mushrooms and Toadstools”
  50. #203, January 81, page 3, “Cutting-rot Susceptibility”
  51. #210, October 81, page 1, “New Pine Disease”
  52. #213, January 82, page 2, “Drought and Spruce Canker”
  53. #217, May 82, page 2, “Alfalfa Weevil Fungal Infection”
  54. #230, October 83, page 2, “Stresses Affect Illinois Trees”
  55. #233, January 84, page 1, “Monographic Study of Torula”
  56. #234, February 84, page 2, “Fungal Pathogens of Insects in Alfalfa”
  57. #247, May 85, page 1, “An Epizootic in the Alfalfa?” (Erynia phytonomi),
  58. #251, November 85, page 2, “Enzymes Versus Fungi”
  59. #253, January 86, page 1, “Mushrooms and Spring Fever”
  60. #256, April 86, page 1, “The Fly Agaric Mushroom”
  61. #268, June 87, page 1, “Mycology of Cypress Swamps”
  62. #275, March 88, page 1, “Shitake Production Combines Economics & Conservation”
  63. #280, October 88, page 2, “Systemic Chemical Control of the Sycamore Anthracnose Disease”
  64. #287, May 89, page 3, “Biological Control Agent of the Corn Rootworm” (Beauveria bassiana)
  65. #292 & #293, page 4, “Biodiversity of Illinois Collections—Fungi”
  66. #306, April 91, “An Interesting Loculoascomycete”
  67. #314, March-April 92, page 8, “Identification of Fungi”
  68. #318, November/December 92, page 8, “Slime Molds”
  69. #322, July/August 93, page 8, “Verticillium Wilt of Maple Trees”
  70. #343, January/February 97, page 4, “Soybean Disease Diagnostics Going High Tech” (Phialophora gregata)
  71. #358, July/August 99, page 3, “A New Form of an Old Pathogen” (Phialophora gregata)
  72. #388, Summer 06, page 2, “Inventory of the Pyromycetes of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park”
  73. #389, Autumn 06, page 6, “Jack-O-Lantern Mushroom” (Species Spotlight)
  74. #389, Autumn 06, page 7, “Make a Mushroom Spore Print” (The Naturalist’s Apprentice)

  75. For more information, see the INHS Fungi Collection Page



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