(1854 – 1921)

Konstantin Sergeevich Merezhkovsky was a graduate of St Petersburg University, and curator of the Zoological Museum of Kazan University and Professor of Kazan University. His taxonomic system for the fungi was one of the earliest to be established, and was highly innovative. In his system Merezhkovsky followed the great Swedish mycologist Fries in recognizing a kingdom for the Fungi, which he called "Mycoids". By removing myxomycetes and oomycetes from his circumscription of that kingdom, he was markedly ahead not only of his own time, but also of many systems of subsequently proposed for the fungi later botanists and mycologists. Merezhkovsky regarded oomycetes as modified algae devoid of pigment, and placed both of groups in a single division, the "Algenphyta". Similarly, he placed myxomycetes, the slime moulds, in the animal kingdom, noting that "these organisms are not plants at all and have nothing in common with fungi: they are genuine animals, which have developed from flagellates or amoebae" (K.S. Merezhkovsky, 1910, p. 153). Regarding the cell of a bacterium as analogous to an ascus in the sense that it is capable of forming endogenous spores, Merezhkovsky reasoned that all members of his fungal kingdom had arisen from single-celled ascomycetous yeasts (Saccharomycetes). In 1914, Merezhkovsky emigrated from Russia.

Compiled by I.V. Karatygin.

Collections. BM. Lists. Taxa. Kirk & Ansell form of name: Mereschk.

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