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International Mycological Institute

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Title: International Mycological Institute  
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International Mycological Institute

The International Mycological Institute was a non-profit organization, based in England, that undertook research and disseminated information on fungi, particularly plant pathogenic species causing crop diseases. It was established as the Imperial Bureau of Mycology at Kew in 1920 and amalgamated with CAB International in 1998.


The Imperial Bureau of Mycology was established in 1920 as a centre for accumulating and disseminating information on plant pathogenic fungi in the British empire and for undertaking systematic research into such fungi. It was initially based in two houses at Kew, but in 1930 moved into a purpose-built building in the grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens. In the same year, it became part of the Imperial Agricultural Bureaux and was renamed the Imperial Mycological Institute (IMI).[1]

IMI provided an identification service for pathogenic fungi from 1921 onwards and in 1922 started publishing abstracts of research literature in the Review of Applied Mycology. An herbarium of fungal specimens was also established. The journal Index of Fungi, covering all new fungal names, began in 1940 and the Bibliography of Systematic Mycology in 1947. In 1943, the first edition of the standard reference work, the Dictionary of the Fungi was published. A culture collection of living fungi was initiated in 1947.[1]

In 1948, IMI changed its name to the Commonwealth Mycological Institute and in 1986 to the International Mycological Institute. In 1993, it was moved from Kew to Egham, Surrey,[1] and in 1998 was assimilated by CAB International.[2] In 2010, the former IMI herbarium was merged with that of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.[3]



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