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IMC11 in Puerto Rico a Great Success!

The 11th International Mycological Congress was held from (15-)16–21 July 2018 at the San Juan Convention Center in Puerto Rico. There were 813 full registrations, 14 one-day passes, and 15 guests making a total of 842 registrants, though sadly only 701 of the registrants from 53 countries made it as a consequence of travel difficulties. The attendance was quite good considering Puerto Rico was stuck by two major hurricanes only 10 months prior to the Congress.

There were eight keynote and plenary presentations, 274 oral presentations in 45 symposia, and 588 scheduled poster presentations. The arrangement of the posters into discussion groups within the six poster sessions worked well in stimulating discussion (with much thanks to embedded discussion leaders). The 10-ft spacing of the rows allowed people to view posters on both sides while allowing others to pass through. The feedback was very positive regarding the facilities and programme, though a couple of sessions exceeded the room capacity, and more registrants would have liked to have gone on the field trips to El Yunque National Forest.

The number for the El Yunque field trips was capped because of restrictions on the number of minibuses allowed in the forest, the limited number of trails that were open to the public (though we were given access to one trail not open to the public), and limited access to bathrooms. We were able to accommodate 56–58 people on pre-congress field trips and the mid-congress free-day, led by Beatriz Ortiz Santana, D. Jean Lodge, Paul Bayman, Kurt Miller, and Joel Mercado. We were able to arrange for two groups to visit La Cabezas de San Juan coastal mangrove and dry forest, led by Sandra Moldenado and José Pérez Jiménez. Kurt Miller led two trips to the Rio Abajo forest, and there were two pre-congress field trips and one mid-congress field trip to the Carite Commonwealth Forest, led by Yaritza Rivera and Joel Mercado. Two workshops also had field trips — the pre-congress ascomycete workshop field trip to Parque Monagas, led by Sandra Moldanado, and the Forest Pathology field trip led by D. Jean Lodge.

This was the first time a formal decision-making Nomenclature Session had been held at an IMC, which is reported on elsewhere in this issue (IMA Fungus 9(2): (47–51), (xv–xxi).

Submitted on behalf of the Mycological Society of America (MSA) Program Chair, Donald H. Pfister, and all the Local Organizing Committee members, including Matías J. Cafaro (Congress Secretary), José Pérez Jiménez Carmen Acevedo, Juan Acevedo, Paul Bayman, Benjamin Bolaños, Marian Espola, and Sandra Moldenado.

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IMC 11 Poster Session.

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Jean Lodge, holding Earliella scabrosa, at El Verde Field Research Station during the El Yunque field trip. Photo: Mubashar Raza.

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Scenes from the IMC11: 11th International Mycological Congress, held in the Puerto Rico Convention Centre in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 16–21 July 2018.

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Scenes from the IMC11: 11th International Mycological Congress, held in the Puerto Rico Convention Centre in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 16–21 July 2018.

IMA Executive Committee Meetings (July 2018)

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Executive Committee of the IMA at the IMC11 in Puerto Rico.

The IMA Executive Committee (EC) met twice during IMC11, in San Juan, Puerto Rico; on 16 and 21 July 2018.

16 July 2018

The IMA officers headed by President Keith Seifert, together with executive committee members and regional representatives, voted on nominations received for new officers and new EC members to serve from until IMC12 in 2022.

Officers

  • President: Wieland Meyer

  • Secretary-General: Jennifer Luangsa-ard

  • Treasurer: Andrej Yurkov

  • Vice Presidents: Sharon A. Cantrell Rodriguez and Pedro Crous

  • Past-President: Keith Seifert

Executive Committee members

Beside the officers, and representatives of Regional Mycological Member Organizations (RMMOs) and Sustaining Member Mycological Organizations (SMMOs), the Executive Committee is represented by a maximum of 12 non-office holding members, serving a maximum of two consecutive terms, elected by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Executive Committee from nominations (received not later than the date notified to Congress participants) from the SMMOs, Member Mycological Organizations (MMOs), the Executive Committee, or individual members. The elected members are particularly valuable, because of their immediate contact to mycologists worldwide and therefore facilitate the communication of the IMA.

It was decided to propose the following as new members of the Executive Committee to the IMA General Assembly to be held at the end of IMC11. These replace EC members Tetiana Andrianova, Karen Hansen, Ana Esperanza Franco Molano, and Mike Wingfield who had already served two consecutive terms:

  • Ahmed Abdel-Azeem

  • Mathew Fisher

  • Tatiana Gibertoni

  • Dee Carter

  • Irene Barnes

  • Paola Bonfante

At the meeting, results of the bids for IMC12 were discussed as well as the recipients of IMA awards and Fellows medals, the financial situation, proposed changes in the Statutes to be put to the General Assembly, and importantly, the selection of publisher bids for IMA Fungus.

21 July 2018

The first meeting under the new President, Wieland Meyer, took place after the General Assembly and Closing ceremony of IMC11. Specific portfolios for EC members were discussed, including: (1) representation in the council for RMMOs and SMMOs; (2) steering committee for MycoBank; (3) webmaster for the IMA website (to be continued by Dominik Begerow; (4) Chiharu Nakashima to remain Vice-President for Awards; (5) membership of the new Publication Committee; (6) mycological education for the community to encourage more appreciation of fungi through workshops; and (7) mycological databases and bioinformatics where the IMA should have a leading role, and establish a working group to apply for funding.

In a discussion of the Nomenclature Session at IMCs, it was decided that the organizers of the next IMC should include the costs for the Session in their bid. Wilhelm de Beer was chosen to represent the EC in discussions regarding nomenclature meetings. Other topics involved more discussion about the selection of a new publisher for IMA Fungus, incorporation of the IMA, finances, where annual EC meetings could be be held, and IMA representation in the organization of IMC12. Online meetings are to be encouraged for those who cannot attend EC meetings.

First International Congress and Second National Conference on Biotechnology of Medicinal Plants and Mushrooms, Iran

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In continuation of the scientific approach of University of Zanjan and Iranian Medicinal Plants Society on the special focus of applied research in the field of biotechnology of medicinal plants and mushrooms, the 1st International Congress and the 2nd National Conference on Biotechnology of Medicinal Plants and Mushrooms was held at the University of Zanjan on 27–28 August 2018. The opening ceremony was followed by a series of lectures, highlights being the video conference keynotes by Greg Seymour (President, International Society for Mushroom Science, ISMS, The Netherlands); Elzbieta Kuta, Aneta Slomka, Klaudia Sychta and Justyna Zabicka (Poland); and keynote lectures by Nazim Şekeroglu (Turkey), Gholamreza Moghimian (Italy), and Mohammad Bagher Rezaei, Valiollah Mozaffarian, Jafar Mirfakhraii, Behzad Ghare Yazi, Gholamhasan Kazemi (all from Iran). More than 320 articles were received, which of 300 were accepted including 20 oral presentations and 280 posters. Further information is available at http://conf.isc.gov.ir/ibmpm97/en/Content/11548/Keynote%20Speakers.

This Congress was organized by Mohsen Najafian (Chief), Ali Ramazani (Deputy), Bahram Maleki Zanjani (Secretary), and Ali Ammarellou (Executive Secretary). It was agreed that the next international congress in the series would be held in Turkey in 2020.

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Congress participants.

The Second International Conference on Mycology in MENA (ICM-2018)

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Mena conference participants 2018.

The Arab Society of Fungal Conservation (ASFC), COMSTECH, Egyptian Syndicate of Scientific Professions, and the National Academy of Science & Research Technology (ASRT), in collaboration with the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (MBZ), Suez Canal University (SCU), and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) organized the 2nd International Conference on Mycology in the Middle East and North of Africa (MENA) on 16–18 October 2018 in the Suez Canal University Conference main hall in Ismailia. It was dedicated to the memory of the late Professor Abdel-Aal H. Moubasher (see this issue pp. (66)), recognized as the godfather of mycology in Egypt and Arab world.

The conference attracted over 250 participants (200 registered full delegates and around 50 accompanying persons) from 11 countries, including Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, India, Iraq, Italy, Malta, Pakistan, Switzerland, and the USA. The theme, “Fungi in a changing World”, encompassing topics such as bacterial-fungal interactions, beneficial and harmful effects, climate change, clinical mycology, enzymes and their types, food mycology, fungal biotechnology, fungi and cultural heritage, fungal diversity and conservation, fungal identification and quantification, fungal immunology, fungal pathogens, fungi and ecosystem functioning, industrial mycology, lichens, medical mycology, mycotoxicology, structure and mode of nutrition, systematics, phylogeny and evolution, and veterinary mycology.

The main conference consisted of one keynote and six plenary lectures, 40 oral presentations and 25 scientific posters. The keynote lecture was by Waseem ElSeesy (Egypt) and entitled “Medicine in ancient Egypt”, and the plenary speakers were: Ahmed Abdel-Azeem (Egypt), Andreas Bruder (Switzerland), Bhim Singh (India), Cristina Giovanna Varese (Italy), Michael Weiß (Germany), and Zakaria Baka (Egypt). In addition, Cristina Giovanna Varese (Italy) gave a workshop on the Thursday morning entitled “Marine fungi: the missing tile in the ocean biodiversity mosaic”.

The conference programme achieved its aims of encouraging international exchange and regional networking, especially among countries in the Mediterranean region, fostering exchange of expertise and learning, and stressing the relevance of mycology to current issues.

Additional information and the conference abstract book can be downloaded from the ICM-2018 website: http://fungiofegypt.com/Conference/index.html.

International Workshop on Mycoremediation: From Fungal Bioprospection to Industrial Application

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This international workshop was held at the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morales, Cuernavaca, Mexico, on 28–30 October 2018. It attracted 150 participants from not only Mexico, but also Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and Uruguay. There was one opening lecture on extremophilic fungi by Nina G. Gunde-Cimmerman (Slovenia), four plenary lectures, six oral presentations, and four workshops. Other subjects covered included fungi, plant and fungal model systems used to study interactions, fungal enzymes, and biopesticide production, amongst other biotechnological applications including nanotechnology-based fungal products. The workshops included sessions related to fungal identification, determination of enzymatic activity, and ways to present data, as well as techniques used to analyse myco-treated samples. The knowledge shared by the researchers proved an invaluable guide to the participating undergraduate and postgraduate students.

In addition, there were 31 posters presented by researchers and students affiliated to Mexican and other institutions including the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Universidad Autónoma de Morelos, Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, Universidad Nacional Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Guerrero, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, and Instituto Tecnológico Superior de la Ciudad de Hidalgo. The topics comprised basic research in understanding molecular and cellular processes, enzymology, agronomical aspects of fungal products, etc. This session allowed the Mexican and other researchers to interact with the students, and the personal contact stimulated discussion of results obtained during the development of their theses. Importantly, the posters were evaluated by the visiting researchers to make an award to one of posters. The evaluation was based on the originality and organization of the results, and the clarity of the speaker presenting the poster.

Other events associated with the workshop included a pre-workshop course on the “Biotransformation of recalcitrant biomolecules through the use of fungi” on Saturday 27 October led by Elisabet Aranda (Spain) and two exhibitions of paintings of fungi.

Overall, this Workshop on mycoremediation proved the perfect place to establish fruitful collaborations amongst researchers and students in Mexico interested in the use of fungi for remediation, and also in other areas of fungal biotechnology. Most importantly, the students had an opportunity to present and discuss their results with researchers from outside that were international leaders in their areas of expertise.

The event was made possible through financial support received from several national and international bodies, including the International Mycological Association (IMA) and its Regional Mycological Member Organization for Latin America, the Latin-American Network of Biological Science (RELAB), the Mexican Society of Biotechnology, the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, and the Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero. The support of the IMA was especially appreciated.

International Symposium on Fungal Biology: Advances, Applications and Conservation, and 45th Annual Meeting of Mycological Society of India (MSI)

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This symposium and meeting was organized by the National Fungal Culture Collection of India (NFCCI) based in the Agharkar Research Institute and held in the main auditorium of the Management Development Centre (Yasvantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration) in Pune from 19–21 November 2018. The symposium commenced with the inaugural ceremony in which an auspicious lamp was lit by Chief Guest David L. Hawksworth and other dignitaries. Kishorwe M. Paknikar, Director of the Agharkar Research Institute, warmly welcomed participants and expressed concern at the declining interest in fundamental mycology. N. Raaman (Secretary, MSI) introduced the activities of the Mycological Society of India (MSI) and Sanjay K. Singh (Organizing Secretary of the Symposium and Meeting) expressed concern towards the declining interests in fungal biodiversity, systematics, and conservation in India. David Hawksworth (Royal Botanic Garden Kew, UK) conveyed the best wishes of IMA President Wieland Meyer to the meeting, thanked the NCCI and MSI for their service to mycological science in India, and in his address considered the extent, prospects, and challenges in utilization of the macrofungal resource. D.J. Bagyaraj was then conferred with an MSI life-time achievement award, and K.R. Sridhar (President, MSI) closed the inaugural session emphasizing and appealed to young researchers of India to explore fungal biodiversity, systematics and ecosystem studies.

There were about 250 participants from across India, and also from France, Germany, Ghana, and the UK. The programme included four invited guest lectures given by: M.C. Srinivasan (Pune, India) on dimensions of mycological research in the 21st century; Patricia Wiltshire (UK) on the role of fungi in forensic science; C. Manoharachary (Hyderabad, India) on handedness in fungi; and Bart Buyck (Paris, France) an overview of the taxonomy and phylogeny of Cantharellus. About 21 lead lectures were delivered, and there were 37 other oral and 52 poster presentations. In order to motivate and recognize younger promising researchers (to 40 y), award lecture contests were instituted in the honour of three eminent and visionary Indian mycologists: viz. M.J. Thirumalachar Young Scientists Award (by MSI), and M.N. Kamat and Kamal Merit Awards (by NFCCI). Topics covered included biodiversity, taxonomy and systematics, host-parasite interaction, molecular mycology, fungal bioagents and biofertilizers, aeromycology, medical mycology, food and industrial mycology, fungal secondary products, the role of fungi in the synthesis of nanoparticles, fungal proteomics, and fungal conservation. The need to build mycological capacity in India through young and budding researchers for the sustainable use of the country’s mycological heritage was a recurring theme.

The valedictory session in the afternoon of 21 November started with a welcome by Sanjay K. Singh (organizing secretary), followed by announcements of MSI fellowships and awards by N. Raaman (Secretary, MSI). Bart Buyck, as chief guest of the closing session delivered a final address. Following the presentation of awards, and closing remarks by K.R. Sridhar (President, MSI), the symposium was concluded after votes of thanks to all participants and sponsors: the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA, Chennai) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR, New Delhi).

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IMA Statutes Revised at IMC11

The General Assembly of the International Mycological Association (IMA) unanimously adopted these revised Statutes during the closing ceremony of the Eleventh International Mycological Congress (IMC11) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 21 July 2018. The changes made from the previous version are indicated in italics below.

Preamble

1. The Association shall be called the International Mycological Association (IMA). The IMA is the section for general mycology of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS).

Objectives

2. The mission of the IMA, as a non-profit organization, is to promote international scientific research and education in fungal biology, and the exploitation of fungi for the benefit of humankind and the environment. The IMA supports International Mycological Congresses (IMCs) and provides support for regional mycological meetings. The IMA serves to facilitate access to Member Mycological Organizations (MMOs) and their resources, as well as other mycological resources.

Management

3. The affairs of the IMA are managed by:

3.1 The General Assembly, convened by the President on the occasion of an International Mycological Congress. All full congress registrants may participate and vote at the General Assembly, which has no continuing responsibility.

3.2 The Executive Committee, composed of (a) a maximum of twelve non-office holding members, serving a maximum of two consecutive terms, elected by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Executive Committee from nominations (received not later than the date notified to Congress participants) from the Sustaining Member Mycological Organizations (SMMOs), MMOs, the Executive Committee, or individual members; (b) one representative of each SMMO; (c) one representative of each established Regional MMO; (d) the Officers; (e) the President-Elect; (f) the Past-president; and (g) Honorary Presidents, the latter considered ex-officio members. Other Vice-Presidents with specific duties, such as Mycological Member Relations or IMA Awards, may be elected by the Executive Committee to serve until the next IMC. Officers are elected by the General Assembly from nominations made by the Executive Committee. The President-Elect will usually be a member of the Executive Committee, and will normally be selected by the Executive Committee coincidentally with the process to select the venue for the next IMC, and the nomination shall be presented to that General Assembly for ratification. When necessary in the period between two General Assemblies, the Executive Committee may appoint new members or any Officers to fill vacancies on the Executive Committee.

3.3 The Officers, comprising a President, two Vice-Presidents (one Vice-President being the Chair of the current International Mycological Congress and the other being the Chair of the next International Mycological Congress), a Secretary-General and a Treasurer. Officers are elected by the General Assembly from nominations made by the Executive Committee. The president normally will be nominated from the current Executive Committee. When necessary in the period between two General Assemblies, the Executive Committee may appoint any of these officers.

The term of office of each Officer terminates at the close of an International Mycological Congress, with the exception of the Secretary-General and Treasurer, who may be re-elected without restriction. The President, upon the expiration of his or her term, becomes the Past President to serve as an ex officio member of the Executive Committee until the close of the following IMC.

3.4 The IMA may create and bestow awards, including the de Bary and Ainsworth awards, the IMA Young Mycologist Awards, and Fellow of the IMA.

3.5 Committees for special purposes may be appointed by the General Assembly or the Executive Committee.

Admonishment

4. The Executive Committee shall ensure that the affairs of the IMA are conducted in accordance with the decisions of General Assemblies.

Membership

5.1 Full, voting membership in the IMA is granted to all full congress registrants of the most recent International Mycological Congress until the following congress, to MMOs, that is, national, regional or international organizations, associations or other groups having mycological interests. The individual members of MMOs of the IMA are considered non-voting members of the IMA. Established Regional MMOs include the European RMMO, the African RMMO, the Asian RMMO, the Australasian RMMO, the Latin American RMMO and a North American RMMO. Proposals for additional Regional MMOs may be submitted to the Executive Committee for nomination by the Executive Committee for ratification by the GA.

5.2 MMOs may become SMMOs by paying dues as defined in paragraph 6.3 and may appoint a single, voting member to the Executive Committee.

5.3 New MMOs are subject to approval by the Executive Committee.

5.4 Regional MMOs may appoint a single, voting member to the Executive Committee.

5.5 Honorary Presidents that have been elected for life will receive all Committee papers and are not required to pay dues; they are non-voting members of the Executive Committee.

Finances

6.1 The income of the IMA may consist of: (a) subscriptions from SMMOs; (b) a levy included in the registration fees of IMCs; (c) donations; (d) interest on funds held; (e) surpluses from IMCs; and (f) proceeds from publications.

6.2 The expenses of the IMA must be approved by the Executive Committee.

6.3 The cost of a SMMO membership and the cost of the levy included in the registration fees of an International Mycological Congress shall be set by the Executive Committee when pre-proposals are solicited. The subscription of SMMOs are due annually on January 1st. The levy on registration fees for the International Mycological Congress shall be collected as part of the registration fee for the congress. The Euro is the official currency of the IMA. Eighteen months before the start of the next IMC, the exchange rate between the Euro and the currency of the country hosting the next IMC at that time will be used as the exchange rate for the registration levy.

6.4 The subscription of SMMOs are due annually on January 1st. The levy on registration fees for the International Mycological Congress shall be collected as part of the registration fee for the congress. The Euro is the official currency of the IMA. Eighteen months before the start of the next IMC, the exchange rate between the Euro and the currency of the country hosting the next IMC at that time will be used as the exchange rate for the registration levy.

6.5 A SMMO in arrears shall, on 60 days’ notice having been given by the Treasurer, be deleted from Sustaining Membership.

6.6 Administration of the funds of the IMA is the responsibility of the Treasurer, who shall present accounts and a forward budget annually to the Executive Committee. A summary of the accounts for the period between IMCs is to be presented to the General Assembly at each International Mycological Congress. The accounts shall be audited by a person nominated by the Executive Committee but who is not a member of that Committee, or of any other Committee established by the IMA or an Officer of the Association.

International Mycological Congresses

7.1 The IMA will encourage national, sustaining and regional MMOs to offer to host IMCs at intervals to be determined by the Executive Committee; currently, this interval is four years. The Executive Committee shall solicit pre-proposals for the next, future IMC from MMOs not later than 18 months before the date of the current IMC with a deadline for receipt of the pre-proposals of not later than 12 months before the date of the current IMC. The Executive Committee shall review the pre-proposals and vote to solicit full proposals from not fewer than two MMOs submitting pre-proposals, not later than 10 months before the date of the current IMC.

7.2 Full proposals to host the next, future IMC must be received by the Secretary-General for distribution to the Executive Committee not later than six months before the current IMC.

7.3 The venues and dates for the next, future IMC will be proposed by vote of the Executive Committee not later than three months before the current IMC. The President and/or Secretary-General or a designated member of the IMA Executive Committee will visit the proposed venue selected by the Executive Committee before final ratification by the Executive Committee. The decision will be announced to the General Assembly of the IMA, to be held at the upcoming IMC.

7.4 The IMA Executive Committee will appoint a minimum of one and a maximum of three representatives to the Organizing Committee established for each IMC by the proposing MMOs.

7.5 The Organizing Committee will:

  1. a)

    invite suggestions for symposia and workshops from all MMOs;

  2. b)

    submit an outline programme to the Secretary-General for circulation and comment not fewer than 15 months prior to the IMC being planned;

  3. c)

    include an IMA levy in the Registration Fee as advised by the Executive Committee;

  4. d)

    be responsible for all aspects of the organization and conduct of the IMC; and

  5. e)

    be eligible for “seed money” to be used to initiate the IMC, which must be refunded to the IMA at the conclusion of the IMC.

  6. f)

    submit to the IMA Treasurer, no later than 90 days following the conclusion of the IMC, a full accounting of the income and expenditures of the meeting and transfer to the IMA Treasurer any funds remaining after expenses have been deducted from income. The IMA depends upon return of the “seed money” described in 7.5 (e) and receipt of the IMC registration levy described in 6.3.

Publications

8.1 The IMA publishes IMA Fungus as its official journal. In addition to news, original papers, reports of IMA meetings, announcements, and other matters, it is the place in which formal proposals to change the rules relating to the nomenclature of fungi appear.

8.2 A Publications Committee appointed by the President oversees the activities of IMA Fungus and/or other publications, including negotiating publication agreements and the appointment of the Editor-in-Chief, both to be ratified by the Executive Committee.

Regional Committees

9. Regional Committees of the IMA now in existence shall be elevated to Regional MMOs. These consist of: the European RMMO, the African RMMO, the Asian RMMO, the Australasian RMMO, the Latin American RMMO and the North American RMMO.

Statutes

10.1 The Statutes of the IMA can be modified by proposal of the Executive Committee and ratification by a two-thirds majority of those eligible to vote at a General Assembly of the IMA.

10.2 Any proposal to modify the Statutes must be received by the Secretary-General at least five months before the General Assembly and shall be circulated to the Executive Committee and SMMOs, Regional MMOs and MMOs at least three months before the Assembly. In cases of extreme urgency, the Executive Committee shall have the right to suspend or create a particular paragraph of the Statutes until the following General Assembly, which shall have the right to approve or reject the changes.

General

11. Any motion to dissolve the IMA must be approved by a two-thirds majority of those present and eligible to vote at a General Assembly. If the IMA is dissolved, any funds remaining after all outstanding liabilities are discharged shall be used for scientific purposes in the field of mycology as agreed by the dissolving General Assembly.

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