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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Text books of mycology typically end the chapter on Laboulbeniales with a statement on their economic and commercial insignificance.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Mycology \My*col"o*gy\, n. [Gr. my`khs fungus + -logy.] That branch of botanical science which relates to the mushrooms and other fungi.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1822, from myco- + -logy. Related: Mycological; mycologist.


n. the study of fungi, in the wide sense.


n. the branch of botany that studies fungi and fungus-caused diseases


Mycology is the branch of biology concerned with the study of fungi, including their genetic and biochemical properties, their taxonomy and their use to humans as a source for tinder, medicine, food, and entheogens, as well as their dangers, such as poisoning or infection. A biologist specializing in mycology is called a mycologist.

From mycology arose the field of phytopathology, the study of plant diseases, and the two disciplines remain closely related because the vast majority of "plant" pathogens are fungi.

Historically, mycology was a branch of botany because, although fungi are evolutionarily more closely related to animals than to plants, this was not recognized until a few decades ago. Pioneer mycologists included Elias Magnus Fries, Christian Hendrik Persoon, Anton de Bary, and Lewis David von Schweinitz.

Many fungi produce toxins, antibiotics, and other secondary metabolites. For example, the cosmopolitan (worldwide) genus Fusarium and their toxins associated with fatal outbreaks of alimentary toxic aleukia in humans were extensively studied by Abraham Joffe.

Fungi are fundamental for life on earth in their roles as symbionts, e.g. in the form of mycorrhizae, insect symbionts, and lichens. Many fungi are able to break down complex organic biomolecules such as lignin, the more durable component of wood, and pollutants such as xenobiotics, petroleum, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. By decomposing these molecules, fungi play a critical role in the global carbon cycle.

Fungi and other organisms traditionally recognized as fungi, such as oomycetes and myxomycetes ( slime molds), often are economically and socially important, as some cause diseases of animals (such as histoplasmosis) as well as plants (such as Dutch elm disease and Rice blast).

Field meetings to find interesting species of fungi are known as 'forays', after the first such meeting organized by the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club in 1868 and entitled "A foray among the funguses"[sic].

Some fungi can cause disease in humans or other organisms. The study of pathogenic fungi is referred to as medical mycology.

Usage examples of "mycology".

Any protozoology or bacteriology or mycology textbook is filled with wonders that far outshine the most exotic descriptions of the alien abductionists.

Phyllis was the Principal of a Teacher Training College and Annie was the only female Professor of Applied Mycology, not only in the University of London, but in the whole of Britain.

Hillman, and you went there the next morning, right after your mycology class, which had some good students in it.

You surprised yourself during your first mycology lecture, speaking in English of the concepts you knew by heart in Russian as well as Georgian, although your mind kept wandering: You were thinking constantly of your obituary.

You found yourself prematurely introducing into your mycology lecture your reflections upon the mortality of mushrooms.

Tbilisi University and received the equivalent of a doctorate in mycology at the University of Leningrad.

He rose and pulled down An Illustrated Textbook of Mycology from the bookshelf.

Any protozoology or bacteriology or mycology textbook is filled with wonders that far outshine the most exotic descriptions of the alien abductionists.