Bulletin Number 3. July 30th, 2010
Professor Dr. S.T. ChangEmeritus Professor Dr. S.T. Chang. Centre for International Service to Mushroom Biotechnology, Department of Biology. The Chinese University of Hong Kong, SAR, China. Address to Dr. S.T. Chang: 3 Britton Place, Mckellar, A.C.T. 2617 Australia.

You may ask "what's my profession?" I usually say that I am a biologist (since I am a Professor of Biology and was Chairman of the Biology Department, the Chinese University of Hong Kong) or geneticist (my M. Sc and Ph. D degrees were in corn genetics and breeding, with Professors N.P. Neal and R. A. Brink, University of Wisconsin, USA) or fungal geneticist (I have worked on the genetics of: Schizophyllum commune with Prof. J. R Raper, Harvard University, USA; Volvariella volvacea with Prof. Kenji Tanaka, University of Tokyo, Japan; Neuropora crassa with Prof. D. G. Catcheside, Australian National University; and Phytophthora cinnamoni with Dr. C. J. Shepherd, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia; Protoplast fusion with Prof. John F. Peberdy, University of Nottingham, England. In early 1983, during my visit to Glasshouse Crops Research Institute, Littlehampton, England, UK I was invited by Dr. P. B. Flegg to attend a lunch party at Rotary Club as his guest. He introduced me as a mushroomologist. After lunch, I told Dr. Flegg that I liked the term mushroomologist and asked him to write a short article on "mushroomology" as an editorial for Mushroom Newsletter for the Tropics of which I was the Editor-in-Chief. He wrote and published (Flegg, 1983) "During a recent visit to England of Prof S. T. Chang, I had occasion to introduce him and myself to a group of people not at all versed in the ways of mushrooms and for the want of a better word, I described ourselves as 'mushroomologists'. At the same it seemed to convey the meaning I intended". For several years afterwards I often referred to myself as a mushroomologist. I also used the term 'mushroomology' in subsequent lectures in Japan and India, where people still use the term to this day.

The term 'mushroomology' is easily understood and accepted by mushroom farmers and some researchers. However, the derivation of mushroomology is mushroom + -ology, combining an English word, mushroom, and the Greek suffix -ology (science of), which is etymologically improper. Thus, the term mushroomology may not be acceptable to some. The correct combination should be the Greek prefix, myc-, which means fungus or mushroom, with the Greek suffix, -ology. But the word 'Mycology' so formed has already been designated as meaning the science of fungi, which through scientific development has expanded so rapidly that a more precise and clearer term to emphasize the scientific studies of mushrooms (macrofungi) as a sub-discipline was warranted. Therefore, Chang and Miles (1992) suggested, the term 'Mushroom Biology' is to be used.

Mushroom Biology includes any aspect of biology in which species producing mushrooms are involved. The definition of the term mushroom has been given by Chang and Miles (1992) as a macrofungus with a distinctive fruiting body which can be seen with naked eye and picked up by hand. It can be either epigenous or hypogeous, and it can be basidiomycete and can also be ascomycete. In 1993, Mushroom Biology was recognized as an important and significant sub-discipline of Mycology. Consequently, the First International Conference of Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products was held in Hong Kong that year, and the World Society for Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products (WSMBMP) was thus born. Since then, anyone who asks me my profession, my answer has always been "I am a mushroom biologist".

Before the events of 1993, the mushroom industry concentrated mainly on the production of fresh, canned and dried mushrooms consumed for food - valued to be US$8.5 billion in 1991. This is only one leg of the industry. However, US$1.2 billion was estimated to have been generated from medicinal mushrooms (mushroom products) in the same year, which did not receive prominent attention. This was considered to be the second leg of the mushroom industry for first time during the conference. Since then, the medicinal mushroom movement has rapidly expanded worldwide. This means the second leg of the world mushroom industry grows stronger and stronger. The world market for edible mushrooms was estimated in 2006 to be valued at around US$36 billion; and medicinal mushroom products were valued at US$16 billion.

In 1977, I was invited to organize an UNESCO-Regional Training Course on the Cultivation of Edible Mushrooms in Hong Kong. There were 28 participants from 9 countries and 8 lecturers from 7 countries including Prof R. V. Alicbusan (Philippines), Prof G. Eger (Germany), Prof T. Hashioka (Japan), and Dr. J. P. San Antonio (USA). The course lasted for three weeks and was conducted very successfully. Since then, I have been invited to conduct mushroom training courses/workshops/seminars in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Fiji, Hungary, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nepal, Philippines, Poland, Slovenia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, U.S.A., Vietnam and Zimbabwe sponsored by government agencies, tertiary institutions, UN agents, and the Commonwealth Secretariat, London. During the 5th International Medicinal Mushroom Conference held in Nantong, China in 2009, I announced my intention to step down from official functions after having been involved in mushroom sciences for over 50 years. I have authored or co-authored over 200 articles in scientific journals, which cover the fields of fungal genetics, mushroom biology, mushroom cultivation, mushroom biotechnology, agricultural wastes utilization, food, nutrition and medicinal effect. I have also written seven books: The Chinese Mushroom (Volvariella volvacea), 1972; Edible Mushrooms and Their Cultivation (with P.G. Miles), 1989; Technical Guidelines for Mushroom Growing in Tropics (with T. H. Quimio and D. J. Royse), 1990; Hong Kong Mushrooms (with Mao Xiaolan), 2001; Mushroom Biology-Concise Basics and Current Development (with P. G. Miles), 1997; Mushrooms and Human Health (with K. E. Mshigeni), 2001, and Mushrooms Cultivation, Nutritional Value, Medicinal Effect, and Environmental Impact (with P. G. Miles), 2004. In addition, I have co-edited six books including The Biology and Cultivation of Edible Mushrooms (with W. A. Hayes), 1978.

Happily reflecting on my travels across five continents teaching and promoting Mushroom Biology, I concluded that the aims of studying mushroom biology are to tackle four basic issues - shortage of food, quality of human health, pollution of the environment and economic growth in society, which human beings still face, and will continue to face, due to the continued increase of the world population. (1) It has been observed that over 70% of agricultural and forest products have not been put to total productivity, and have been discarded as waste. Mushrooms are able to use their enzymes efficiently as keys for unlocking those indigestible lignocellulosic biomasses to generate relatively cheap source of high quality protein food. (2) Ensuring a high quality of human health has two fronts: one is to control infections and another one is to boost the immune system of human beings. Mushrooms and their products can play a very positive role on the second front as they are rich in nutritional and medicinal properties. (3) Mushrooms biosynthesize their own food (protein, polysaccharides, and other vital metabolites) from agricultural, forestry, and other lignocellulosic residues, which would otherwise be burnt as waste, causing health hazards and environmental pollution. Therefore, mushrooms are environmentally very friendly. (4) Through community education and training, mushroom farming activities can be tailored to be a labour-intensive industry, particularly in developing countries, generating many employment opportunities for women and the youth, and significantly improving their quality of life. Therefore, the mushroom industry can serve as vital agents for promoting rapid equitable economic growth in society.

We have good institutional foundations built over the last 17 years to support the continual successful development of the mushroom industry. We have successfully organized the last 6 WSMBMP conferences (1993 in Hong Kong, 1996 in USA, 1999 in Australia, 2002 in Mexico, 2005 in China and 2008 in Germany). The WSMBMPC-7 will be held in 2011 in France. I am confident that together we can build a stronger, more dynamic and more active group, one that will make significant contributions to the development of the world mushroom industry - mushroom biology (mushroomology) will be greatly promoted and mushroom products will be widely recognized for enhancing human health.


Chang S. T. and P. G. Miles. (1992). Mushroom Biology---A New Discipline. The Mycologist 6(2):64-65.

Flegg P. B. (1983). Mushroomology. Mushroom Newsletter for the Tropics 4 (1): 2.

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Dr. Jose E. SánchezDr. Jose E. Sánchez
El Colegio de la
Frontera Sur (Ecosur)
C.P. 36. Tapachula,
30700, Mexico.

After the end of an emotional and enthralling Football World Cup competition, and the crowning of new world champions, people are returning to their regular activities or embarking on their summer holidays. It is also time to begin talking again about mushrooms and WSMBMP activities. This is Bulletin No. 3 and, instead of sending out an E-mail attachment as before, we decided this time to place the Bulletin on our recently launched website.

Since election, the new WSMBMP Committee has been pressing ahead with its agenda: the introduction of the new style Bulletin in 2009, followed by the inauguration of the Society website earlier this year, and the eagerly awaited 7th International Conference, organized by Dr. J.M. Savoie and his colleagues, to be held in 2011 in Arcachon, France.

Our website (, designed to serve as an amicable and user-friendly means of communication between society members, was set up in May. Since then, the site has been visited on more than 600 occasions, which translates into about 9 visits per day. Now, anyone wishing to be kept informed about WSMBMP activities may surf the site for updates, and read and download free of charge any of scientific manuscripts presented at all six previous WSMBMP-sponsored conferences. The site also provides for online registration and the updating of member's information. This represents an important new feature since, in the past, bank costs and the paperwork involved in international money transfer to pay membership fees has been a major impediment to an expanded Society enrolment. Currently, we are updating our membership database, and hereby invite everyone to renew their membership by completing an application form online.

Through these activities, and the continued support of Society members, we aim to increase both regular and corporate memberships. This, in turn, will enable us to introduce new, and develop existing, activities, and to achieve the Society's main objective of disseminating updated information relating to mushroom biology, science and technology.

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Dr. Jean Michel SavoieDr. Jean Michel Savoie
INRA. Bordeaux,

Please keep in mind the following dates, concerning the organization of 7CMBMP:

* Call for papers: September 1, 2010.
* Deadline for submission of papers April 1, 2011.

Conference field Includes subjects dealing with research on, but not limited to:

* (i) Genomics, Genetics, Molecular biology and breeding
* (ii) Evolution, biodiversity and systematics
* (iii) Biochemistry, Physiology, Nutritional and medicinal aspects, Innovative products from mushrooms
* (iv) Cultivation technology and bioconversions.
* The conference program features a number of keynote lectures by distinguished world-class researchers and will also include oral presentations, poster sessions and a trade exhibition.
* Workshops and special sessions are also invited. If you wish to propose workshop or a special session, for example based on the results of a specific research project, please contact the secretariat ( ).

Eighteen years after the first International Conference on Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products, the seventh conference will be held in Arcachon, France, from 4-7 October 2011. Surrounded by golden sands, Arcachon lies on the mouth of the Bassin d'Arcachon - a rare inlet on the long, straight, west coast of France. The conference centre is situated on the seafront boulevard promenade. It is just sixty kilometres from the great wine capital of Bordeaux, a classical French city on the list of UNESCO's World Heritage sites since 2007.
This conference has as its goal the exchange of information about new findings in the aspects of mushroom biology and mushroom products including (i) cultivation technology and bioconversion; (ii) genomics, genetics and breeding; (iii) nutritional and medicinal aspects, and innovative products from mushrooms.
During the meeting there will be ample opportunity to meet with colleagues and friends in a relaxed atmosphere to strengthen collaborations between mushrooms scientists and also between scientists and persons involved or interested in all aspects of the Mushroom Industry including Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms.
According to the local organising committee, the program of the 7ICMBMP will comprise a number of plenary lectures given by the leaders in key mushroom research fields. In addition, PhD students and young scientists will be given the opportunity to present their research as short talks during the main session and workshops or as a poster. The posters will be displayed throughout the entire conference. A trade exhibition will be held concurrently with the scientific programme from 5-7 October for organizations to showcase their services, products and technologies. Maximum exposure to exhibitors will be carefully planned and delegate catering will take place in the exhibition area.

The local organising committee consists of members of the mushroom biology and genetics research group in the Department of Mycology and Food Safety, INRA France and includes Jean-Michel SAVOIE, Marie FOULONGNE, Michelle LARGETEAU, Christophe BILLETTE and Philippe CALLAC. Contact :
We are looking for people to join the scientific committee which will be responsible for developing the scientific programme and reviewing manuscripts submitted for inclusion in the conference proceedings.
A dedicated 7ICMBMP Web Site is under construction and not yet accessible. Until then you will find information at
The organising committee looks forward to welcoming you in Arcachon, France, in 2011.

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Dr. D.J. RoyseDr. D.J.Royse
The Pennsylvania
State University

The Ibero-American Conference on Edible Mushrooms was held in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico, from April 21-23, 2010. The conference was organized and chaired by Dr. Jose E. Sanchez with over 70 participants from 10 countries enjoying presentations and discussions from scientists and students engaged in mushroom research and outreach. The conference was held on the campus of El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR) surrounded by a region rich in indigenous (Maya) culture and history. The Mexican Mycological Society, The World Society for Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products, the Institute of Ecology, A.C., the government of the State of Chiapas, and ECOSUR sponsored the well-organized meeting.

Some participants of the Ibero-American Conference on Edible Mushrooms in courtyard of ECOSUR campus, San Cristobal, Mexico, April 22, 2010.

Keynote lectures were interspersed with oral presentations and there were poster sessions each day after lunch. Keynote lectures were presented by Drs. Francisco J. Gea Alegria (Spain), Daniel J. Royse (USA), Jose E. Sanchez (Mexico), Nelson Barros Colauto (Brazil), Gustavo Valencia del Toro (Mexico), Hermilo Leal-Lara (Mexico), Conrado Soto Velazco (Mexico), Edgardo Alberto (Argentina), and Nester J. Naranjo (Mexico).
Speakers for the Ibero-American Conference on Edible Mushrooms held in San Cristobal, Mexico

All but one presentation was in Spanish and this served to more fully engage the mostly Latin audience. Participants were treated to lectures on a wide range of topics, including production technology, ecology, systematics, breeding, economics, medicinal aspects, pest management, outreach, spawn making, and many others. Several mushroom species were covered including Agaricus bisporus, Agaricus subrufescens, Lentinula edodes, Pleurotus spp., Trametes versicolor, Polyporus tenuiculus, Ustilago maydis, Podaxis pistillaris, Morchella spp., Hypomyces spp., Aleuria aurantia, Cookenia spp., Agrocybe aegerita, Ganoderma spp., Sparassis spp. and ectomycorrizal fungi including the genera Suillus, Hebeloma and Laccaria.
The very successful conference ended with a discussion on the situation of production of edible and medicinal mushrooms in Latin America. Discussions, led by Dr. Daniel Martinez Carrera, Ms. Yesica Mayett Moreno, and Mr. Leopoldo Lopez Martinez de Alva, all of Mexico, focused on production, development and consumption of mushrooms. Information was provided via a web site ( for edible and medicinal mushrooms in Latin America. Discussion also centered on the education of students for jobs in the mushroom industry
Participants enjoyed the historic highland city of San Cristobal before, during and after the conference. The city is rich in Mayan history, and in many respects, Chiapas more closely resembles Guatemala than Mexico. Around San Cristobal, native women sell their wares upon the pavements or in organized areas near the churches. Participants also enjoyed the local cuisine including a rare, refreshing drink made from dried Hibiscus flowers. And don't forget the Tequila!

Colorful local market of goods in El Centro, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico, April 24, 2010.

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The WSMBMP Bulletin is the official electronic publication of the World Society for Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products. The bulletin is intended to keep members informed about Council activities and to share general information about mushrooms. It is designed to allow communication between society members and alert them about new topics and opportunities related to mushrooms. Society members and general public are kindly invited to submit letters, comments and information of interest for the mushroom community to be published in the bulletin. Please submit your contributions electronically in free format to the editors José E. Sanchez and Helen Grogan

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