Ten years ago, when we first set out to write this book, we aimed to provide a broad understanding of the biology of fungi and the biological systems to which fungi contribute. We hoped the book that would emerge would provide an all-round view of fungal biology, with a scope ranging over ecology, evolution, diversity, cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, biotechnology, genomics and bioinformatics. We were very pleased, and proud, of the book that was published in 2011. That satisfaction was increased enormously when the book was acclaimed around the world by our peers. Reviewers and purchasers alike were appreciative of the broad scope of our text; their reviews including the phrases: ‘The 21st Century Guidebook to Fungi is a game changer…’; ‘Moore, Robson and Trinci have now made fungi accessible to everyone…’; ‘all you ever wanted to know about fungi: at last: a university level book on fungi to sit next to the classics of cell biology and biochemistry.’; ‘This remarkably comprehensive volume will be useful to every scientist and educator…’.

As well as liking the content, our reviewers also approved of the way the book was organised and written, with phrases like: ‘This is an innovative text, both in its presentation and its organisation…’; ‘The authors’ clear, comprehensible and accurate writing style is just perfect for a textbook…’; ‘…written in a delightful prose, integrating concepts and interdisciplinary knowledge…’; ‘… very user friendly … making this an outstanding resource …’. Overall, the consensus of opinion was that the 21st Century Guidebook to Fungi was: ‘…a valuable contribution to modernising fungal science education…’; ‘…the best comprehensive mycology text available…’ Finally, we were particularly pleased with the Journal of the American Library Association’s review, which started: ‘The content and quality of this book is simply breathtaking!’

But, you will have noticed that time passes, and even breathtaking books age and go out of print; and that’s what happened to the 21st Century Guidebook to Fungi. The third printing went out of print in early 2017. In many respects, authors regard their books in much the same way as they view their children, and we couldn’t allow our literary offspring to wither and die on the publisher’s vine. In the belief that it remains essential to maintain the availability of a textbook of such user-perceived value, we decided to produce this thoroughly updated Second Edition of the 21st Century Guidebook to Fungi. As the original text was so well received, this Second Edition is not a major reorganisation, but rather a thorough section-by-section update from mycology of the first decade to represent mycology of the second decade of the 21st century and beyond.

All sections have been revised, but several sections deserved more extensive treatment. This applied particularly to the variety of applications of fungal genome analyses in the past ten years: genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, metagenomics, and several other areas of integrative biology, including but not limited to bioinformatics, computational biology, though we have tried to remain succinct even with these. There were also a few of our own recent publications that warranted proper inclusion; including the mycological alternative interpretation of eukaryote evolution from the book Fungal Biology in the Origin and Emergence of Life (Moore, 2013), and some aspects from two other books: The Algorithmic Fungus (Moore & Meškauskas, 2017) and Fungiflex: the untold story (Moore & Novak Frazer 2017).

One intended omission from the Second Edition is the CD that was included with the First Edition. Although this was widely appreciated as a valuable accessory at the time, we believe that a CD-format version is no longer appropriate, simply because Compact Disk players are so rarely encountered today. So, with the Second Edition we are expanding the online representation of the 21st Century Guidebook to Fungi.

In writing the Second Edition we have continued our intention to show Kingdom Fungi as a biological system with its own intrinsic interest rather than as a diverse group of individually fascinating, but still separate, organisms. In addition, we have maintained our model of a tourist guide to a holiday destination. Tourist guides do not attempt a comprehensive depiction of a location, but they bring attention to a broad range of places you might find interesting, describe enough for you to decide if you are interested, and tell you how to get there. We called this a Guidebook because we have always been aware of the impossibility of writing a comprehensive, monographic treatment of an entire Kingdom, so each section of your Guidebook to Fungi directs you to an interesting aspect of fungal biology and, perhaps unusually for a textbook, provides references to external resources that will provide more information; and there are more references in the Second Edition.

These references include Internet URLs or DOI URLs. The acronym DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier, which uniquely identifies where an electronic document (or another electronic object) can be found on the Internet and remains fixed. Other information about a document may change over time, including where to find it, but its DOI name will not change and will always direct you to the original electronic document. To access one of these references, enter the DOI URL into your browser and you will be taken to the document on the website of the original publisher. Almost always you will have free access to the abstract or summary of the article, and an increasing number of publishers provide free access to the full text. But even for those that do not provide free access, if your institution maintains a subscription to the products of that publisher you may be able to download the complete text of the article. Save the downloaded document to your hard disk to build your own reprint collection.

We want to restate our sincere thanks to our families for their help and understanding while we produced this text (particularly to my daughter Dr Rebecca J. Moore, for dragging my 50-year-old chemistry into this century), and all those students of ours who have made constructive comments on this Guidebook as it developed over the years. We also thank Dr Dominic Lewis, our Commissioning Editor at Cambridge University Press, and the rest of the CUP staff and contractors (especially Charlie Howell in Cambridge, and Rajeswari Azayecoche at Integra Software Services) for all their efforts on our behalf in achieving the publication of this book; and extend our appreciation to those anonymous reviewers of the first draft, and Professor David L. Hawksworth CBE for his comments on the proof, all of  whose suggestions have so improved the final text.

Special thanks go to Professor Paul S. Dyer School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham, who was so insistent that we do something about the 21st Century Guidebook to Fungi going out of print that we were driven to write this Second Edition. And finally, we give our thanks to the many friends and colleagues who provided information ahead of publication and devoted their time and effort to supplying us with illustrations used in this book: Prof. M. Catherine Aime Louisiana State University; Dr G.W. Beakes University of Newcastle upon Tyne; Prof. Meredith Blackwell Louisiana State University; Dr Manfred Binder Clark University; Prof. C. Kevin Boyce University of Chicago; Prof. Jacques Brodeur Université de Montréal; Prof. Mark Brundrett University of Western Australia; James Burn sales team Reading; Sheila and Jack Fisher Chichester; Forestry Images; Dr Elizabeth Frieders University of Wisconsin-Platteville; Prof. G.M. Gadd FRSE University of Dundee; Dr Daniel Henk Medical School Imperial College London; Prof. David S. Hibbett Clark University; Dr Kentaro Hosaka National Museum of Nature and Science Japan; Dr Carol Hotton National Museum of Natural History Washington DC; Dr F. M. Hueber National Museum of Natural History Washington DC; Dr Timothy Y. James  University of Michigan; Dr P. R. Johnston Landcare Research New Zealand; Tom Jorstad Smithsonian Institution; Pamela Kaminski; Dr Bryce Kendrick; Geoffrey Kibby Field Mycology; Dr Cletus P. Kurtzman USDA/ARS Peoria; Dr Roselyne Labbé Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Ontario; Dr Marc-André Lachance Western Ontario University; Prof. Karl-Henrik Larsson Göteborg University; Dr Heino Lepp Australian National Botanical Gardens; Dr Peter M. Letcher University of Alabama; Prof. Xingzhong Liu Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing; Dr Mark Loftus Sylvan Inc, PA, USA; Dr Joyce E. Longcore University of Maine; Dr P. Brandon Matheny University of Tennessee; Dr Audrius Meškauskas Switzerland; Prof. Steven L. Miller University of Wyoming; Dr Randy Molina Mycorrhiza and USDA Forest Service; Dr Jean-Marc Moncalvo Royal Ontario Museum and University of Toronto; Elizabeth Moore Stockport; NASA’s Space Telescope Science Institute; Dr Stephen F. Nelsen University of Wisconsin – Madison; Prof. Birgit Nordbring-Hertz Lund University; Dr Lily Novak Frazer University Hospital of South Manchester; Dr Ingo Nuss Mintraching-Sengkofen Germany; Dr Kerry O’Donnell USDA/ARS Peoria; Dr Fritz Oehl ART Zürich; Dr Lise Øvreås University of Bergen; Mary Parrish Smithsonian Institution; Dr Jens H. Petersen University of Aarhus; Prof. Nick D. Read Institute of Cell Biology University of Edinburgh; Prof. Dirk Redecker INRA/Université de Bourgogne; Prof. Karl Ritz Cranfield University; Dr Carmen Sánchez Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala México; Prof. Marc-André Selosse; Université Montpellier II; Dr. Sabrina Setaro Wake Forest University; Dr Karen Snetselaar Managing Editor Mycologia Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia; Malcolm Storey; Prof. Junta Sugiyama TechnoSuruga Co. Ltd Tokyo; Dr Sung-Oui Suh American Type Culture Collection; Mr John L. Taylor Manchester; Prof. Vigdis Torsvik University of Bergen; Prof. John Webster University of Exeter; Dr Alexander Weir SUNY-ESF New York; Prof. Merlin M. White Boise State University; Alex Wild Photography Illinois; Ence Yang Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing.

We must end this Preface on an unwelcome sad note. As the text of this Second Edition was reaching completion our kind and gentle friend, greatly valued colleague and co-author Geoffrey David Robson died suddenly on 15th May 2018.

And today I have to add another unwelcome paragraph. Yesterday I received the distressing news that my great friend, research collaborator and co-author, Anthony Peter Joseph (Tony) Trinci, died on the morning of 7th October 2020 after many weeks of serious illness. In praise of Tony I am unable to better Neil Gow’s tribute “… Tony Trinci understood mycelial growth better than almost any other mycologist, past or present. He was a great person …”

So now this volume, their legacy, is dedicated to the memory of both Geoff Robson and Tony Trinci. Mycologists of outstanding distinction. They have both left behind a place that cannot be filled.      

David Moore
Stockport, Cheshire
October 2020

If you would like to read the Preface to the First Edition CLICK HERE

Updated October, 2020