Submitted to: Society for Invertebrate Pathology Annual Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 31, 2004
Publication Date: August 1, 2004
Citation: Vandenberg, J.D. 2004. The fungal past, present and future: germination, ramification and reproduction [abstract]. Society for Invertebrate Pathology Annual Meeting Proceedings. 37:45.
The history of observation and research on fungal pathogens of invertebrates dates back thousands of years. In the era before microscopes, fungi were visible to the naked eye as organisms and observation of them helped give birth to invertebrate pathology as a modern field of study. The twentieth century brought phenomenal advances in our knowledge of fungal biology, cultivation and use. The present is filled with a worldwide community of researchers working on many fronts to grasp the dynamics of fungal populations, to reveal their organismal and cellular mechanisms, and to decipher their genetic code. We are striving to deploy fungi to help manage pests and to exploit fungal genes and their products for new uses. We are gaining a much deeper understanding of the interactions of fungi with other agents of pest management and the trophic cascades in which they are involved. New technologies allow us to track, with increasing accuracy, the fate of fungi released into the environment. Our future success will depend on appreciating the history of international efforts by many laboratories and institutions. It will depend on acknowledging past initiatives to manage devastating insect pests. It will depend on recognizing our failures and our breakthroughs. Finally, our success depends on cultivating our international cooperation, our sanguinity, our indefatigable diligence, and our vision.