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Fungi, such as mushrooms, plant pathogens, molds, and mildews have been known from the time man began to take an interest in his natural surroundings. The plant pathologists cite the Bible for their early records, and we know that mushrooms were a source of inspiration to ancient Roman architects in the adornment of buildings. Their sudden appearance in unexpected places gives them an aura of mystery that enfolds them like a mantle and lends interest to them even today. When we add to these attributes their great diversity of form and color, their beauty and their repulsiveness, their uses and their destructiveness, it is strange that the fungi have not been the subject of wider investigations than is the case. In fact, the secretary of the National Research Council, in his plea for a closer integration between science and the public, pointed out that in the war emergency requiring a knowledge of fungi, not enough persons could be found who were qualified to undertake the necessary investigations. This problem, however, was but one of many that are today occupying the attention of scientists in many fields. It is my purpose to review briefly the new activity that has been aroused concerning that ancient race, the fungi.

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Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science





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©1946 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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