Mycol. Res. 108 (10): 1234 (October 2004). f The British Mycological Society
Printed in the United Kingdom.
B I O C H E M I S TR Y A N D M O L E C U L A R BIOLOGY The Mycota : A comprehensive treatise on fungi as experimental systems for basic and applied research. Edited by Karl Esser. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. III. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Edited by Robert Brambl & George A. Marzluf. 2004. 2nd edition. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. Pp. xxii+447, ﬁgures 98 (9 in colour), tables 19. ISBN 3 540 42630 2. Price E199.95, US $187.95, £154. This proved to be the most popular volume of The Mycota, and was the ﬁrst to go out of print. Now, ten years after the ﬁrst edition of the volume, a replacement has been issued. It comprises 21 chapters involving 50 authors; these are drawn from eight countries, but 30 are based in North America. The chapters are grouped under the headings : Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics (4 chapters), Regulation of Gene Expression (4), Response Factors Inﬂuencing Metabolism (3), Molecular Biology of Carbohydrates and Lignin (4), and Molecular Aspects of Biochemical Pathways (6). I can appreciate that the editors had a problem in deciding what to cover with a title so mind-blowingly embracing, and especially as many of the pearls that might be expected under these covers are treated in other volumes of the set – particularly volume II (Genetics and Biotechnology, already in its second edition) and volume VIII (Biology of the Fungal Cell (including, for example, Joan W. Bennett’s review of fungal genomics). The result is something of a Pandora’s box of contributions. While in general the chapters ﬁt into the series without an unacceptable level of duplication, if a comprehensive coverage of what the title promises were sought, readers are likely to be disappointed. I must concurr with Frank C. Odds (Mycological Research 108 (4): 463–464, April 2004) in his review of volume XII (Human Fungal Pathogens), that: ‘ Perhaps The Mycota could form the embryo for a new review journal in mycology? ’. If this were treated as being a series of review articles rather than a synthesis, it would certainly rate highly. The individual chapters are prepared to the highest standards
1 This section is compiled by the Executive Editor, to whom books for consideration for coverage should be sent: David L. Hawksworth, The Yellow House, Calle Aguila 12, Colonia La Maliciosa, Mataelpino, ES-28492 Madrid, Spain. (tel/fax: [+34] 91 857 3640; e-mail: [email protected]
). Unsigned reviews and notices are by the Executive Editor.
and tackle subjects where authoritative overviews were timely. Any reader will have a personal eclectic mixture of favourites amongst these. The ones I found of especial interest were on: Regulation of Mitochondrial Gene Expression (R. Brambl), Heat Shock Proteins and the Stress Response (N. Plesofsky), Polysaccharides (A. Radford), and Enzymology and Molecular Biology of Lignin Degradation (D. Cullen & P. J. Kersten). The new edition is a ‘ must ’ for all major mycology libraries, but I re-iterate the need for an overall uniﬁed subject index to make the work more accessible to those who wish to use The Mycota as an mycological encyclopaedia rather than to look up particular articles to which they have been directed.
PLANT PATHOLOGY Cultivation and Diseases of Proteaceae: Leucadendron, Leucospermum and Protea. By Pedro W. Crous, Sandra Denman, Joanne E. Taylor, Lizeth Swart & Mary E. Palm. April 2004. Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, Utrecht. Pp. xii+228, ﬁgures 460, coloured plates 32, tables 1. [CBS Biodiversity Series No. 2.] ISBN 90 70351 50 1. Price E60. Members of the South African Proteaceae, long recognized as a source of exciting fungi by mycologists, are now the basis of a thriving cut-ﬂower industry – albeit one potentially under threat from some of those fungi. This volume combines information on crop improvement, propagation, cultivation, harvesting, and phytosanitary regulations with a detailed treatment of the fungal (and bacterial) pathogens (but not nematodes). In all 56 ‘diseases ’ are covered, although some involve several diﬀerent fungi ; most notably 13 Mycosphaerella species are recognized under ‘Mycosphaerella leaf spot ’. The disease entries include detailed descriptions, illustrations (line and half-tone), together with information on hosts and distributions. Keys are included where several species of the same genus are involved, although there is no overall key. Symptoms are beautifully illustrated in the colour plates, and symptomatic of our inadequate knowledge of the world’s fungi, one new genus and one new species are described. Produced to the highest standards, and most modestly priced, this is surely destined to be the vade-macum of all involved in the Proteaceae industry.