CA Mushrooms
CA Mushrooms

Book Review

Diversity and Integration in Mycorrhizas:
Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Mycorrhizas

Sally E. Smith and F. Andrew Smith, eds.
Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002.
ISBN 1-4020-0269-6 (Hard cover, $85)

Immediately following the edible mycorrhizal mushrooms conference, the Third International Conference on Mycorrhizas (ICOM-3) was held in Adelaide, South Australia. The proceedings volume contains 31 of the many papers presented at the conference, including the plenary addresses and many symposium presentations. As the title indicates, the theme of the meeting was diversity and integration in mycorrhizas, and, accordingly, these topics are reflected in many of the papers.

The volume is organized, in five sections-an Introductory Chapter ("Challenges for mycorrhizal research into the new millennium"); Molecular Diversity and Phylogeny; Development: from Genes to Structure; Functional Relationships; and Ecological Interactions.

For the typical mushroom-hunter, most of the papers, with titles such as "Fungal gene expression in early symbiotic interactions between Laccaria bicolor and red pine" and "Mechanisms of nutrient transport across interfaces in arbuscular mycorrhizas," probably will not trigger much excitement. However, those with an understanding of molecular techniques will learn more about soil microorganisms in general and mycorrhizal fungi in particular in the seven papers in Molecular Diversity, and those with an ecological bent will enjoy "Mycorrhizas and global environmental change," "Is there a role for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in production agriculture?,""Ecological role of hypogeous ectomycorrhizal fungi in Australian forests and woodlands," and other papers in the Ecology section.

If you aren't convinced that you need to order this immediately, you can preview the papers, as they were published in the journal Plant and Soil, Volume 244, Numbers 1 and 2 (2002). Plant and Soil is available in many college and university libraries.

Review by Steve Trudell, Seattle, WA
Originally published in The Mycophile 46:6, 2003