Illustrated Dictionary of Mycology

Illustrated Dictionary of Mycology

Phytochemistry 56 (2001) 785±785 Book reviews Illustrated Dictionary of Mycology M. Ulloa and R.T. Hanlin, Americ...

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Phytochemistry 56 (2001) 785±785

Book reviews

Illustrated Dictionary of Mycology M. Ulloa and R.T. Hanlin, American Phytopathological Society Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 2000, 448 pp., $99. ISBN 0-89054-257-0 Although fungi are now recognised as a distinctive phylum unrelated either to vascular plants or to algae, the teaching of mycology is still usually included as part of plant sciences in most British universities. However, when it comes to learning the arcane vocabulary of fungal nomenclature, the students tend to rebel. They may accept the complicated terms used to describe higher plant anatomy, but they ®nd the extra strain of learning about abhymenial, abjection, abjunction and ablastic beyond them. Here at last is a dictionary which explains in simple language the meaning of the many technical terms of fungal structures. Furthermore, this dictionary provides a wealth of illustrations, so that it is possible to visualise the shape of asymmetric ascospores, auriculiform basidiocarps and asterinoid ascostrama. Until now, the most generally useful mycology dictionary has been Ainsworth and Bisby's Dictionary of Fungi, published by the Commonwealth Mycological Institute. It has been so popular that it has reached an

eighth edition. This new dictionary is essentially complementary to Ainsworth and Bisby, since it lacks its taxonomic emphasis. Instead of listing the many and various fungal genera, an outline of fungal classi®cation is present as an Appendix. Only the major fungal classes received individual entries. Interestingly, the Oomycetes are still included, in spite of the fact that some taxonomists have separated them from the fungi and have placed them in the Kingdom Protoctista. The great strength of this new dictionary is undoubtedly the illustrations of fungi in all their varieties of shape, structure and size. My only grumble is the lack of colour. Since the fruiting bodies of many toadstools display a wealth of colours provided by anthraquinone or carotenoid pigments, it is a shame not to see some colours in these illustrations. However, one should not complain too much, since the book is priced so reasonably that it is within reach of the keen mycological student. Je€rey B. Harborne Department of Botany The University of Reading Whiteknights, PO Box 221 Reading RG6 6AS, UK

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Plant±Microbe Interactions Volume 5 Ð edited by G. Stacey and N.T. Keen, American Phytopathological Society, St Paul, Minnesota, 2000, 336 pp., $64. ISBN 0-89054-260-0 This volume explores a number of interesting microbial plant pathogens or symbionts and the responses they elicit in their plant hosts. The emphasis is on the biological and genetical aspects of these interactions, although biochemical pathways do get some mention. The ®rst chapter discusses the genetics of Pseudomonas syringae a harmful bacterium which acts as a model system for plant±bacterial interactions. The second chapter

moves onto one of the most infamous of all plant disease organisms, potato blight or Phytophthora infestans. Much progress has been made in our understanding of this micro-organism at the molecular level and the recent reclassi®cation of the Oomycetes, to which Phytophthora belongs, is mentioned. The next chapter is devoted to quorum sensing in plant±microbe interactions, while the fourth presents a molecular overview of Agrobacterium rhizogenes, the causative agent of hairy root disease. Because of its simple chromosomal complement, Arabidopsis thaliana has become the most popular of all plants for molecular biologists. Where else to look for the genes of plant resistance? Here, in Chapter 5, the

0031-9422/01/$ - see front matter # 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. PII: S0031-9422(00)00436-2