General Mycology               521

Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University   

Will be offered on an alternate year basis--Fall 2009 is the next class

Instructor:  Dr. Lori Carris    

Location: Plant BioSciences I Room 31

This site will not be used Fall 2009. Students enrolled in Pl P 521 will access class materials through Angel LMS.
























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General Mycology is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the biology, diversity, taxonomy and phylogeny of the true fungi (Kingdom Fungi) and those fungal-like organisms which are traditionally studied in mycology courses but are now known to belong to the Kingdoms Protoctista  (Protists) and Stramenopila (Chromista).   The course comprises two one-hour lectures and two three-hour laboratory sessions per week.  Lecture and laboratory topics focus on the basic features and life cycles of all major taxa of fungi.  Undergraduate students should be enrolled in 421 and graduate students in 521.  Two lecture exams and two lab exams will be given during the semester.  All students will be required to complete a culture and specimen collection as part of the course requirements.  Students enrolled in Pl P 521 are also required to prepare an abstract and give an oral presentation on a selected topic of interest.  

 General Mycology classes meet Tuesday and Thursday from 1-5 pm in Plant BioSciences I Room 31  






Deacon, J.  2006.  Fungal Biology.  4th Edition.  Blackwell Publishing.  Malden, MA.

Dugan, F. M.  2006.  The Identification of Fungi.  An Illustrated Introduction with Keys, Glossary, and Guide to Literature.  APS Press, St. Paul, MN.

Esser, K., and P. A. Lemke, eds. 1994-2002. The Mycota.  A Comprehensive Treatise on Fungi as Experimental Systems for Basic and Applied Research.  Vols. I-XI.  Springer-Verlag, New York.

Farr, D. F., G. F. Bills, G. P. Chamuris and A. Y. Rossman.  1989.  Fungi on Plants and Plant Products in the United States.  APS Press, St. Paul, MN.

Hawksworth, D. L.  1974.  Mycologists Handbook.  CMI, Kew.

Hudler, G. W.  1998.  Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds.  Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

Kendrick, W. B.  2000.  The Fifth Kingdom.  Third Edition.  Mycologue Publications, Sidney, B.C.  

Kirk, P.M., P.F. Cannon, J.C. David and J.A. Stalpers.  2001.  Dictionary of the Fungi.  9th Edition.  CABI Publishing.

Margulis, L., J. O. Corliss, M. Melkonian and D. J. Chapman.  1990.  Handbook of Proctoctista.  Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Boston, MA.

Moore, D.  1998.  Fungal Morphogenesis.  Cambridge University Press.

Moore-Landecker, E.  1990.  Fundamentals of the Fungi.  Third Edition.  Prentice Hall, NJ.

Mueller, G. M., G. F. Bills and M. S. Foster, eds.  2004.  Biodiversity of Fungi.  Inventory and Monitoring Methods.  Elsevier Academic Press, New York.

Stevens, R. B.  1974.  Mycology Guidebook.  University of Washington Press, Seattle.

Ulloa, M. and R. T. Hanlin.  2000.  Illustrated Dictionary of Mycology.  APS Press, St. Paul, MN.

Webster, J.  1980.  Introduction to Fungi.  Second Edition.  Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.



Ascomycetes and Deuteromycetes

FusKey for the identification of Fusarium species




American Type Culture Collection (ATCC)

CABI Biosciences Resources

Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures (CBS)

Microfungi in culture

Bruce McCune's Lichens

MushroomExpert--Check out this great website for mushroom identification, information on edibility, etc.

Northwest Lichen Resource Center--keys to lichens

Fred Rhoades' site-great images of lichens (and 3-D mushrooms!)

Lichens of North America

British Lichen Society

Chytrid Fungi Online

International Code of Botanical Nomenclature

Phylogeny of fungi and lower fungi

George Barron's web site--photos of macrofungi

Medically important fungi--Dr. Fungus

MatchMaker--download site for images and descriptions of non-gilled species;  also for PNW Key Council Keys

MatchMaker--online identification resource for PNW gilled mushrooms

Medically important fungi--Mycology Online


Taylor Lockwood's Treasures from the Fungal World

Tom Volk's Fungi

Paul Stamet's Mushrooms and Man

Mycological Herbarium at Washington State University (Herb. WSP)

Palouse Mycological Association

North American Mycological Association (NAMA)

USDA-ARS Systematic Botany and Mycology Lab Databases

Fungi Images on the Web

Zoosporic Fungi Online

Students with Disabilities:   Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability.  Please visit the Disability Resource Center (DRC) during the first two weeks of every semester to seek information or to qualify for accommodations.     All accommodations  MUST   be approved   through   the  DRC (Admin Annex Bldg, Rooms 205). Call 509 335 3417 to make an appointment with a disability counselor.


Other Mycology Courses Offered

Molds, Mildews and Mushrooms (Pl P 150)--offered every spring semester.  This is a 3-credit course, team-taught by Drs. Rogers and Carris, that is designed to provide an understanding of the development and application of scientific thought and methodology using examples from Kingdom Fungi.  Examples used in the course illustrate the impact of fungi on ancient and contemporary societies, and provide a broad perspective of how fungi are adapted to their unique niches.  Fungal interactions with their environment, and their interdependence with other kingdoms of organisms are also covered.  Examples of presentations during the first week of class are given below.

Week 1.  What is a fungus?

Lecture 1.  Fungi and the Tree of Life

Lecture 2.  Lifestyles of the Fifth Kingdom

Lecture 3.  Mushrooms, Molds, and Mildews--Common Groups of Fungi


Advanced Fungal BIology (Pl P 526)--offered alternate spring semesters (even years).  This is a 4-credit course, team-taught by Drs. Rogers and Carris, that is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of fungal biology, including ecology, systematics, evolution and co-evolution with plant and animal hosts.  The course is organized into one interactive lecture/discussion period and two laboratory sessions per week.  The discussion sessions are based on key papers from the primary literature selected by the students.  The laboratory component focuses on student projects which are selected during the first week of class in consultation with the instructors. 





Click on thumbnail photos to see full size versions

Class Foray 2007

Class foray to Eldorado and Mountain Gulch, Oct. 11, 2007;  left to right--Jason, Dipak, Lori (instructor),  Jeremiah, Janet, Mike, Donna, Ebrahiem, Laura, Grant, Evans, Brendan

Cluster of Coprinus near gold mine cabin

Dipak has found something interesting...

...hmm, white gills, no annulus...

Is that a false chanterelle?

The Lion's Mane


Hygrocybe psittacina, a beautiful parrot green, slimy-capped mushroom.  Janet and Laura have it in the bag (below)

A happy mushroomer

Laura, Janet and Grant

What is it Brendan?

Heading back to the van

Janet and some colorful mushrooms

Laura and her Pholiota

One last look before we head back to Pullman

Spring Fungi 2006

For those of us fortunate to be out in the woods this May, the mushrooming was rewarding.  The unusually large amount of rain in April and May brought up a spectacular flush of porcini (Boletus edulis), and some of the largest white morels (Morchella deliciosa) seen in years. 


Fall Fungi 2004

Sierra and Jessica with Laetiporus sulphureus, the Chicken of the Woods (Fall 2004).  If you think L. sulphureus is colorful on top, look what's underneath!  Photos by  Jason Hartney

What's in those heavy bags???

Some of the good edibles that came up early in 2004:

Dentinum repandum

Boletus edulis

Cantharellus formosus (and I saw C. cibarius for the first time from our region--no mistaking the lovely apricot aroma)

Hericium abietis

The Fly Agaric

Amanita muscaria  is one of  the most readily recognized of all mushrooms.  David Arora, author of Mushrooms Demystified, notes that the fly agaric is "esteemed by both maggots and mystics".  These photos were taken on October 2 and 3, 2004, respectively, at the Indian Creek State Campground, Priest Lake Idaho.


North American Matsutake

Tricholoma magnivelare is one of the most valuable of the wild edible mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest.   High value specimens are immature 'buttons'  with intact veil.  The mushrooms in the top photo are considered over-mature for commercial purposes, but they still have the cinnamon red-hot aroma and dense, meaty texture that make this mushroom a remarkable gastronomic experience.  In the bottom photo,  Sierra is attempting extract several large Matsutake growing under a log.


One of the treasures of the Northwest  is the Pacific Golden Chanterelle, Cantharellus formosus.  Look for these golden fruiting bodies in the forest in late September through November. 

Golden Pholiota

Pholiota aurivella is golden yellow, slimy + scaley-capped mushroom that grows in clusters on living and (more commonly) dead hardwood and conifers.  Although the mushrooms are not deadly toxic, they can cause stomach upsets, have an unpleasant texture, and are not considered edible. 


Bird's Nest Fungus

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Crucibulum laeve.  These cup-shaped fungi are common on wood debris in forests and urban settings.  The spores are formed inside the egg-shaped peridioles which are splashed out of the cup by rain, hence the common name "splash cups".  The lower photo shows the characteristic gasteromycete-type basidium.  Since the basidiospores are formed within peridioles,  they have lost the forcible discharge mechanism.

Jelly Fungi

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Dacrymyces palmatus, a conifer-loving jelly fungus, is common in the Pacific Northwest.   Look for it on fallen branches and logs.

Auricularia auricular, the wood ear, is a common jelly fungus that can be found in the spring and fall.  A cultivated form of this fungus is popular in Asian cooking.

Inky Caps

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Coprinus atramentarius is one of the common species of Inky Caps, so-named because the mature basidiocarps auto-digest to produce a inky mass (as shown in the second photo).  Another  common name of this species is "Tippler's Bane" because of an unpleasant reaction when  the mushroom is  consumed with  alcohol.

Spring Fungi

Spring 2003 was a good season for morels.  The following five photos show different stages of development of the black morel (Morchella elata group)

Other Spring Fungi:


Kuehneromyces lignicola from the University of Washington's Pack Forest

Caloscypha fulgens, usually quite abundant in the spring, was scarce this year

Other Fungi

Cone Heads

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Look for Conocybe lactea in  well-watered lawns in the morning.  


Dung Fungi

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Panaeolus semiovatus is just one of the many beautiful fungi that fruit on herbivore dung.  These specimens are growing from old cow dung.

These beautiful fruiting bodies of Bombardoidea were found on elk dung in Clark Fork, Idaho.  Photo by Marco Hernandez-Bello




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This page revised on July 22, 2009

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