Last updated: December 22, 2016

What Does Mycology Mean?

Mycology is the branch of biology that deals with the study of fungi. It includes the research of their genetic and biochemical properties, and their use in medicine and food along with their hazards. The term mycology is a concoction of the Greek words mukēs, meaning fungus, and logia, meaning study.

Fungi are found in almost all types of environments and can be highly beneficial. They help to decompose organisms, they are great sources for antibiotics, and they serve as food. However, some fungi can be harmful and poisonous. Therefore, mycology is necessary to fully understand the properties and suitable uses of mushrooms.


Maximum Yield Explains Mycology

The use of mushrooms date back to prehistoric times, however, the first written mention of fungi was during 480-406 BC. Mycology was originally a branch of botany, but this was changed because in terms of evolution fungi are more closely related to animals than to plants. The term mycology and mycologist were introduced into the English vocabulary in 1836. The first person to conduct and publish a proper study on fungi was Raymond Sabouraud in 1910, so he is regarded as the father of medical mycology.

Mycologists have focused on mushrooms that possibly have anti-cancer, hypoglycemic, and immune-system improving activities. Medical mycology is the most rapidly expanding branch of mycology. Mycology also encompasses mycotoxicology, mycoremediation (the process of using fungi to destroy environmental contaminants and pests), and phytopathology (the study of plant diseases).

There are different branches of mycology that specialize in various features of fungi; for example, the study of pathogenic fungi is known as medical mycology. A biologist who specializes in the study of mushrooms and fungi is known as a mycologist.


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