Fungi are largely defined as molds, yeast, mushrooms, and myxomycetes. A tremendous number of unknown fungi are thought to be living on the earth, and the estimated number of species of fungi exceeds more than a million in the nature. Various genes that fungi have and bioactive compounds produced by fungi are expected to be important resources for the basis of biotechnology in the 21st century. In addition, the importance of fungi in the global ecosystem has been increasingly recognized. Biological phenomena such as symbiosis and co-evolution cannot be discussed without fungi. However, special techniques are required to study fungi, and a number of difficult issues remains for the identification and taxonomy of fungi.
History and study area
The Mycological Society of Japan, founded in February 1956, has a history of over 60 years, with the aim of promoting and disseminating research in the interdisciplinary field of fungi. Currently, there are about 900 members (honorary, life, regular, student, and supporting members) participating the fields of biology, plant pathology, microbiology, agricultural chemistry, fermentation engineering, applied mushroom science, forestry, medicine, pharmacology, food hygiene, and environmental sciences. Aiming for more stable management and social reliability, the Mycological Society of Japan was re-organized from voluntary organization to be established as a general incorporated association in 2017.
MSJ publishes Mycoscience, an international journal bimonthly, Japanese Journal of Mycology twice a year, and the Newsletter four times a year to promote mycology specialists in fungi in Japan and abroad. We also have participated major international conferences on fungi as co-sponsor or sponsor, and have organized many international conferences and symposia in the Asia Pacific region. Many researchers from universities, national and public research institutes, and academic and technical personnel from relevant companies have participated in these international conferences. MSJ has contributed in promotion of mycology and provision of scientific knowledge to the scientific community and the society.
MSJ is a non-profit organization. Membership fees are used for various promotion of mycology including publication of periodical journals, academic publications, providing lectures for general public.
MSJ also convenes mycological foray annually in all round Japan, and provides opportunities for education and training of the cutting edge taxonomy from the field to both professional researchers and contributes to citizen science (Link to Foray).
All the officers of MSJ including President, Trustees, Acting Managers, Editorial board members, Annual Meeting Committee members, etc. are volunteers. MSJ is consisted of members of various mycological background, and functions as a platform to expand new academic field by integrating members' expertise, knowledge, and technologies.
Promotion of research activities
In addition to the pure science such as taxonomy, agriculture, plant and animal pathology, and discovery research for biologically active compounds as pharmaceutical resources, MSJ will also focus on the fields of applied science including the development of collection and preservation of fungi in biotechnology, elucidation of knowledge of the function of fungi in nature as an important group for the harmonization of lives in the environments. We are fostering younger generations through providing training courses for mycological knowledge and technology, and inviting foreign mycologists and convening international meetings to promote overseas exchange for the members.