The years in between the previous and the current third edition of The Mycota III witnessed a dramatic change in how we address scholarly questions in fungal biology. Above all, the rapidly advancing technologies to generate massive amounts of nucleic acid sequence data that enabled the exponential growth of the number of sequenced genomes and the increased quality of transcriptomes have provided insight into the function and evolution of fungi to an extent we would probably not have even dreamed of 10 years ago. Consequently, results reviewed in the newly written or updated chapters of this volume underscore the copious availability of genomes, transcriptomes, or proteomes, which has become the expected norm.
To truly advance fungal biology, we need to be careful in order not to get sidetracked and drowned in an ocean of computer-produced data. “We are at the start of what will be one of the most exciting periods of advance and discovery in the history of our field.” These words, written by Professors Robert Brambl and George A. Marzluf in the preface of the second edition of The Mycota III, should encourage us, more than ever, to be thoughtful in asking the right questions and to test hypotheses—beyond the in silico level—experimentally through wetbench work.
To produce the third edition of The Mycota III, the Editor was privileged to work with diligent and enthusiastic experts as both recurring and first-time chapter contributors. The Editor is both pleased and thankful of the five returning authors/author teams and additionally excited to have many new authors. It was the aim of the Editor to cover fungi as broadly and comprehensively as possible. Accordingly, chapters highlighting the aspects of zygomycete and basidiomycete biology appear to complement contributions that focus on precious model species, such as Aspergilli. Also, primary metabolism, gene regulation, and signal transduction were further emphasized in the new volume, e.g., with chapters on major metabolic routes, RNA interference, regulation in plant pathogenic fungi, but also on global regulation of Aspergillus natural product biosyntheses, the latter to reflect the markedly increased interest in fungal secondary metabolites.
The Editor cordially thanks Dr. Andrea Schlitzberger of Springer Publishers for excellent and competent guidance throughout the production process and, last but not least, the Series Editor, Professor Emeritus Karl Esser, for precious advice and encouragement that was always combined with a fine sense of humor.