Taxonomy of the Fungi

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    IN the issue for June 1948 of the Transactions of the British Mycological Society (31, Parts 3, 4) there are several papers which help to clarify the systemic positions of many fungi. A. A. Pearson and R. W. G. Demis. have reviewed the validity of the 1,870 specific epithets contained in the latest authoritative work on Agarics (Rea's "British Basidiomycetae"). They have excluded synonyms, names attached to inadequate descriptions, and other variants of doubtful nomenclature, leaving a total of 1,234 species. Boletales have similarly been reduced from 70 to 47. The valid species are listed with short notes (pp. 145-190), and field mycologists should be grateful to the authors for the removal of such an incubus. This clarification has involved a re-examination by R. W. G. Dennis of several little-known agarics from the herbaria of Berkeley, Cooke and Massee ; 29 of these are described in relation to the shorter list (pp. 191-209). Special groups of fungi have also been studied. The late T. Petch provides a revised list of British entomogenous fungi (pp. 286-304), including a new species, Verticillium menisporoides, found on spiders in Suffolk. Fungi which are associated with lichens have not hitherto been investigated very intensively. W. Watson lists (pp. 305-339) a large number of these,, with notes on their characters and distribution. The Society's "List of Common British Plant Diseases" is kept up to date by the publication of emendations. A collection of these, designed to supplement the third edition of the List, appears in the present number of the Transactions (pp. 340-342). A new species of Pyrenophora from Italian ryegrass is described by H. F. Dovaston (pp. 249-253). It is P. Lolii, and is possibly the perithecial form of Helminihosporium siccans. Other new species are described by N. C. Preston (pp. 271-276)-Myrotheciumjollymannii from dried tobacco leaves in Nyasaland, and M. striati-sporum from clay soil in New Zealand.

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    Taxonomy of the Fungi. Nature 163, 715–716 (1949) doi:10.1038/163715d0

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