Definition of mycology

It is called mycology to science dedicated to study of the mushrooms. A mushroommeanwhile, is a living being of heterotrophic nutrition whose reproduction takes place through spores.

Mycology focuses on these organisms that live on decaying organic substances, such as parasites or in symbiosis. The origins of this discipline can be traced centuries BCalthough the first scientific investigations are much more recent and date back to the century XVI.

Mycology is the study of fungi.


  1. First milestones of mycology
  2. edible mushrooms
  3. medical mycology

First milestones of mycology

The study of fungi had several milestones throughout the 16th century, which are listed below:

* In the year 1526, the Italian humanist Hermolaus published a classification of fungi that served as a reference point for future studies. Let us not forget that in the scientific field it is essential to prepare compendiums to bring together data allied;

* at the beginning of the 1st century was born in ancient Greece Anazarbean Dioscorides, a pharmacologist, botanist and physician whose legacy was of great importance to the scientific community. As far as mycology is concerned, some botanists relied on his work to continue their research. Such was the case of the Italian Pietro Andrea Gregorio Mattioli;

* In the year 1564, the Dutch physician Hadrianus Juniusdrew up a description of Phallus impudicus, a fungus found quite frequently on the European and North American continents. Two of its characteristics are its phallic shape and its unpleasant smell;

* the doctor Reiner Solenander described the fungus known as ox tongue, whose scientific name is hepatic fistula. Although it is considered to originate in the United Kingdom, it is also possible to find it in almost the entire European continent and in North America;

* the italian philologist Fabio Colonnawho became interested in medicine and botany when he understood that epilepsy would prevent him from working as a lawyer, provided a detailed illustration of Clathrus rubera saprophytic fungus that goes by the common name red cage. Its body shape is oval and exhibits various “branches” that intertwine;

* in 1592, Giovanni Battista della Porta, an Italian researcher and philosopher, stated that the reproduction of fungi was carried out by means of seeds. Other scientists supported his theory, although he was the first to publicly disclose it;

* Charles de L’Ecluse, one of the most important botanists of the 16th century, ordered a watercolor painting of forty-two species of edible mushrooms. Twenty-two genera were visible in the image, fifty-eight poisonous species of twenty-five genera, and five fungi that had not been shown before. It is one of the pillars of mycology, which served for its study and developing to future generations.

Mycology makes it possible to distinguish between edible and toxic fungi.

edible mushrooms

The mushroom picking What food by the human being It started in prehistory. Various peoples believed that mushrooms were sacred and some even considered them as a food of divinities and monarchs.

The Agaricus bisporusknown as mushroom, is one of the most popular edible mushrooms. They are also highly valued truffles, as the members of a genus of fungi are called. In the field of food, mycology is key since its knowledge They allow us to distinguish between those species that can be consumed and those that are toxic.

medical mycology

It is important to note that, with the discovery of disorders and conditions that, in people and animals, cause the interaction with certain mushrooms or their ingestion, the medical mycology. This branch of medicine analyzes the incidence of fungi on health, which can range from intoxications to infections.

Mycology, on the other hand, also examines the hallucinogenic mushrooms. These organisms present psychoactive substances that modify the functioning of the central nervous system and can produce hallucinationsamong other phenomena.



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