The discipline of Mushroom Biology, created by the authors of this book, has now been legitimized by references in the scientific literature and by two International Conferences devoted to the subject. This book sets the parameters of Mushroom Biology in a concise manner and also emphasizes trends and points out future directions which will lead to a greater utilization of mushrooms and mushroom products. The discipline was established to bring together persons who have in common scientific or commercial interests involving mushrooms. The authors' definition of mushroom is more broad than the usual mycological definition so that macrofungi other than Basidiomycetes can be included. Mushrooms may be edible, non-edible, poisonous or medicinal species, with hypogeous or epigeous fruiting bodies, and their texture may be fleshy or non-fleshy.Many aspects of Mushroom Biology are presented, including nutritional and medicinal uses, the role of mushrooms in bioremediation, biotechnology, and in the bioconversion of waste organic materials into forms that can enter the major nutrient cycles.Basic scientific studies involving mushroom species are also considered with an emphasis on genetics and breeding.

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