Mycology (fungi)

Mycology, the study of fungi

Mycological research at RBGE focuses on the lichenised-fungi (lichens) and the Pucciniales (or Uredinales, the rust-fungi), an order within the Basidiomycota. The rusts are plant parasites and are economically important in agriculture, horticulture and forestry, though the taxonomy of many rusts is poorly understood.

A rust fungus

A rust fungus (Phragmidium rosae-pimpinellifoilae)

Traditional taxonomic tools are used to study systematic relationships within the rusts, based on existing herbarium collections at RBGE (ca 20,000 specimens), loans from major herbaria and overseas visits to catalogue herbarium data.

The main aim of this project is to revise the taxonomy of the European Uredinales, to understand the biogeographic distribution of species, and to produce a comprehensive field guide to European rusts. Click here to find out more about rust fungi research.

The British Fungus Flora

Present-day work on the Pucciniales builds upon a strong legacy of British and international mycology at RBGE. The study of European fungi over a period of 50 years, combined with herbarium collections dating back to the early 19th century, have culminated in a definitive flora to British Basidiomycetes (mushrooms and toadstools). The British Fungus Flora is a series of publications first produced and published by RBGE in 1967, and has provided an invaluable contribution to both scientific research and a wider understanding of British fungi.

For more information about this and other mycological publications from RBGE please see our online publications store.

Boletus pinicola

Boletus pinicola

   page updated 18 September 2012

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