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Societies and Academies


    LONDON. British Mycological Society (Keswick meeting), September 15—20.—F. T. Brooks: Some present-day aspects of mycology (presidential address). It is mairltained that the fungi originated from protist organisms without direct relationship with the alge, and developed upon novel lines as an entirely separate and characteristic group of plants. Arguments are advanced against the view that the fungi are phylogenetically related to the green and red alga-, or that they have been evolved from transmigrant seaweeds in ancient times. A monophyletic origin of the fungi is favoured. Most plant diseases are caused by fungi; hence there is need for closer co-operation between systematic mycologists and plant pathologists. Attention was directed to the inadequacy of the diagnosis of certain genera and species of pathogenic importance, and to the great influence of environmental conditions upon the growth of all kinds of fungal organisms. It is considered that mycologists and plant pathologists must be essentially botanists with the necessary fundamental training in chemistry and physics. For the plant pathologist a sense of crop values and of the important phases in the growth of crops should be inculcated.—Somerville Hastings: Anellaria separata growing in the Alps. The characters of these plants are related to the known conditions and compared with corresponding characters in phanerogams.—A. H. R. Buller: Luminosity in Panus stypticus. The mycelium and fruit body are both luminous, and by controlling the supply of oxygen the light can be turned on and off instantaneously. The light is given off even at or just below the freezing-point of water. Mycelium grown on wood blocks remained luminous for six months.—Miss E. M. Wakefield: Fungus-hunting in the West Indies. Observations were taken during six months spent in the Lesser Antilles and Trinidad. The characteristics of the fungus flora of these islands illustrate the distribution I of fungi as affected by climate and the differences between tropical and temperate fungus floras in general.—Carleton Rea: Edible fungi; qualities from a gastronomic point of view of a number of the larger fungi.—M. C. Potter: Wart disease of potatoes. Preliminary experiments appear to indicate that the disease does not develop if the soil is rendered sufficiently alkaline (approximately PH 105).

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