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Mycology is the study of fungi , their genetic and biochemical properties, their taxonomy , and their use to humans as a source for medicinals (see penicillin ) andfood ( beer , wine , cheese , edible mushrooms ), as well as their dangers, such as poisoning or infection . Mycology is closelyrelated to phytopathology : the study of plant diseases. Historically,mycology was a branch of Botany . Pioneer mycologists were Elias Magnus Fries , Christian Hendrik Persoon , and Anton deBary .

Today, the most comprehensively studied and understood fungi are the eukaryotic model organisms Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe . The genus Fusarium (which are worldwide in theirdistribution) and their toxins associated with fatal outbreaks of alimentary toxicaleukia in humans were extensively studied by Professor Abraham Z.Joffe . Many other fungi are economically and socially important as they are responsible for diseases like Potato blight .

Field expeditions to find interesting types of fungi (often edible mushrooms) are known as fungus forays , and are typically ledby an expert mycologist.

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