Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 4, 1999
Publication Date: December 31, 1999
Citation: Dugan, F.M. 1999. Agribiotechnology. In: McGraw-Hill Book Company editor. 2000 McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. p. 1-3 Interpretive Summary: Fungi area among the organisms which can be exploited for advances in pest control, waste utilization, and food production. Some strains of fungi can act as mycopesticides, i.e., these strains can be manufactured, packaged and marketed to control weeds, insects or other fungi. New sources of food are attained by inoculating plants with fungi which form partnerships with the roots of plants, and which produce edible delicacies such as mushrooms or truffles. Similarly, waste products consisting of cellulose and/or lignin can be used as raw material for production of edible mushrooms. Experimental methods are being used to improve the stains of fungi and/or fungal products used in argibiotechnology.
Technical Abstract: Fungi have been used in agribiotechnology as mycopesticides; target pest organisms primarily include insects and weeds, but also other fungi. Fungi are also used as growth-promoting mycorrhizae; such mycorrhizae can also be established for the purpose of producing edible fruiting bodies. Bioremediation via the breakdown of cellulose or lignin wastes is accomplished by utilization of several taxa of fungi; some of these taxa also produce marketable, edible mushrooms. Experimental approaches to agribiotechnology include genetic manipulation of fungal strains, use of fungal toxins against pest organisms, or deletion of toxin producing genes in strains of fungi.