Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: August 10, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
This book chapter centers on fungal pathogens of insects as a specialized group within which to discuss the theme of 'applied' ways to identify them by using relatively few characters to show how, on a larger scale, to discover significant patterns in the biology and relationships among organisms. Consideration is given to the extremely complex life histories of many fungi that are pathogens of insects and to correctly interpreting information about such deceptively simple concepts as biogeography and specificity. The many aspects of host specificity that reflect the separate biologies of the host and pathogen as well as of their interactions that may result in successful establishment of infections are given special consideration. The role of molecular techniques in contemporary studies of fungal identification and relationships is evaluated, and it is noted that neither the more traditional morphological/developmental approaches nor the newer molecular approaches to such studies can continue to exist independently; both are essential partners in the effort to advance the overall understanding of the organisms in the biosphere.