Angels on the Lawn

Nicholas P. Money

in Mushroom

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199732562
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918515 | DOI:
Angels on the Lawn

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The introductory chapter explains how mushrooms develop. The complex fungal life cycle involves the germination of spores, the expansion of feeding colonies, and mating processes that can involve tens of thousands of sexes in a single mushroom species. The study of these mechanisms began with the Florentine genius, Anton Micheli in the eighteenth century, and, later, engaged fascinating personalities including children's author Beatrix Potter, Worthington Smith (who got most of his facts spectacularly wrong), and Elsie Wakefield (who got her facts right). The modern study of mushroom development is a challenge for the field of molecular genetics and computer simulations have provided useful insights. Recent changes in seasonal patterns of mushroom fruiting may relate to global climate change.

Keywords: mushrooms; germination; spores; colonies; mating; sexes; Anton Micheli; Beatrix Potter; Elsie Wakefield; climate change

Chapter.  7548 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biological Sciences

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