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The Molds and Man

The Molds and Man: An Introduction to the Fungi

Clyde M. Christensen
Copyright Date: 1965
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    The Molds and Man
    Book Description:

    This highly readable volume on a little-known but important subject has been widely used as a text and reference book by the student as well as the interested layman.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6189-3
    Subjects: Biological Sciences

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-2)
  3. CHAPTER 1 What Fungi Do and How They Grow
    (pp. 3-22)

    There are about two million different kinds of living things on the earth, of which fungi make up approximately from eighty thousand to a hundred thousand species. Many of these fungi are so prevalent and abundant that they must be considered one of the more successful forms of life. If most of us are not aware of the multitudes of fungi about us all the time, it is only because we have neither the background nor the technics necessary to see them. They are small and inconspicuous, but they make up for this in other ways that allow them to...

  4. CHAPTER 2 The Reproduction and Dissemination of Fungi
    (pp. 23-42)

    Like other living things, molds or fungi reproduce their kind, and the ways in which they go about making more molds help to determine when, where, how, and on what or whom they grow. All but a very scant few of the fungi reproduce by means of spores. How spores are formed and how they get around are described in the present chapter. From the practical standpoint, it will be seen, there is a good deal of significance in these methods of increase and dissemination.

    The best way to find out how fungi form spores is to watch the process...

  5. CHAPTER 3 Fungus Partnerships with Other Plants
    (pp. 43-61)

    Fungi have formed all sorts of partnerships with other plants. Some of these appear to be fairly loose associations, each partner being able to survive as an individual, rugged or otherwise. Others are obligatory in the sense that each member of the combination is totally dependent upon the other, each producing certain goods or services necessary for the survival of the team. This happy union, in which each member complements and benefits the other, grades by insensibly small steps into a condition where either the fungus or its associate is little better than a slave to the other. In almost...

  6. CHAPTER 4 Fungus Partnerships with Animals
    (pp. 62-86)

    The nature of animals is such that one would hardly expect many of them to form close partnerships with fungi. The fungi, when growing and producing food, shelter, or other forms of aid and comfort for their partners, are relatively stationary, while most animals are constantly on the go. The mobile animals, from snails to deer, will nibble at mushrooms now and then, and most of the larger animals except man regularly carry around a variety of fungi in their intestines, one of which will be described later, since it is one of the marvels of the plant world. But...

  7. CHAPTER 5 Fungus Parasites of Plants
    (pp. 87-104)

    As we have seen in the earlier portion of this book, fungi live upon many sorts of things, and get their food in many different ways. A considerable number of them live upon and get their food from living plants. They parasitize other plants, and cause diseases of them.

    Roughly, these fungus parasites can be divided into “facultative” parasites and “obligate” parasites. The facultative parasites are those fungi that live partly on dead materials, mostly plant remains, and partly on living plants. They can live a full and complete life on the debris in the soil or in decaying vegetation...

  8. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  9. CHAPTER 6 Fungus Parasites of Plants: Rusts, Smuts, and Heart Rot
    (pp. 105-130)

    Freedom from famine would hardly have been possible without research on the fungus diseases of our economic plants. If it has resulted in the overproduction of potatoes or wheat in the last decade, and the consequent economic ills, these troubles are minor ones compared to those resulting from so recent an epidemic of wheat rust as that of 1916. At that time the writer was a young and comparatively inoffensive boy in North Dakota, one of the breadbaskets of the world, a major producer of wheat. In the winter of 1916–1917 the writer lived mainly on corn-meal mush. The...

  10. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  11. CHAPTER 7 Fungi in Foods and Building Materials
    (pp. 131-151)

    Fungi cause heavy losses not only in all our crop plants but also in practically all the goods and materials processed from these plants, and in many kinds of manufactured products derived from things other than plants or plant products. Molds avidly attack and consume or spoil stored seeds, vegetables, dairy products, and meat, decay wood in all its forms and in almost all its normal uses, grow on, in, and through paints and other supposedly protective coatings, rot fabrics and leather, and in general raise expensive havoc with most of the common materials we use. Here again the field...

  12. CHAPTER 8 Fungus Parasites of Microorganisms and Insects
    (pp. 152-166)

    All kinds of animals, as well as all kinds of plants and the produce from them, are subject to attack by fungi. Probably few individuals of any species of animals, small or large, sedentary or active, stupid or intelligent, entirely escape infection by fungi at one time or another. Most of these infections are relatively minor and have little or no effect upon the host. Some, however, cause disablement, and a few are fatal, both to man and to the worms that eventually inherit his carcass. The importance of some of these fungi lies in the fact that they help...

  13. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  14. CHAPTER 9 Fungus Parasites of Fish, Land Animals, and Man
    (pp. 167-182)

    The general field of fungus parasites of animals has not been so carefully explored as the field of fungus parasites of plants. Part of the reason for this is that throughout most of the world the diseases of man and of the lesser animals caused by fungi are fewer in number and of less practical importance than the diseases caused by other organisms and infective agents. For the rest, fungus diseases of animals have not always been recognized for what they are; even where important and destructive, they have often been overlooked or confused with other things. A person sees...

  15. CHAPTER 10 Fungi Exploited Industrially
    (pp. 183-207)

    In the last few decades some fungi have become big business in the Western Hemisphere, but that products useful to man could be got from molds is no new discovery. The surprising thing is not that a few fungi have been put to work for us but, that out of the tens of thousands of common fungi around us, we have had the wit to exploit only a scant dozen for public good and private profit. All of these have been hit upon purely by accident.

    The Orientals were far ahead of us in this, as they were in so...

  16. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  17. CHAPTER 11 Toxic Fungi
    (pp. 208-225)

    In the previous chapters you have been introduced to some of the ways in which fungi of various kinds affect us for good or ill. The present chapter aims to tell you something about a perhaps less pleasant or entertaining, but still in many ways interesting, aspect of their impact on us — that of toxicity, or poisoning. Some fungi, especially among the mushrooms, are poisonous in themselves; that is, some of the chemical substances in their makeup are toxic to us, and to some other animals, when eaten. It would be strange if this were not so, since all the...

  18. CHAPTER 12 Experiments with Fungi
    (pp. 226-247)

    Students and teachers in biology classes in high schools and colleges have become increasingly aware of and interested in fungi during the past decade or so, and requests have been received by various departments in many universities for demonstration materials or experiments that would aid them in learning more about the nature and habits of fungi. It is not at all difficult to grow some of the common and uncommon and striking fungi in a fungarium such as that described below. Also only a moderate cash outlay is required for materials and equipment for making cultures of fungi as the...

  19. APPENDIX. Summary of the Classification of the Fungi
    (pp. 248-274)
  20. Index
    (pp. 275-284)