• Citation for webpage

Jayasiri SC, Hyde KD, Ariyawansa HA, Bhat J, Buyck B, Cai L, Dai YC, Abd-Elsalam KA, Ertz D, Hidayat I, Jeewon R, Jones EBG, Bahkali AH, Karunarathna SC, Liu JK, Luangsa-ard JJ, Lumbsch HT, Maharachchikumbura SSN, McKenzie EHC, Moncalvo, JM, Ghobad-Nejhad M, Nilsson H, Pang KA, Pereira OL, Phillips AJL, Raspé O, Rollins AW, Romero AI, Etayo J, Selçuk F, Stephenson SL, Suetrong S, Taylor JE, Tsui CKM, Vizzini A, Abdel-Wahab MA, Wen TC, Boonmee S, Dai DQ, Daranagama DA, Dissanayake AJ, Ekanayaka AH, Fryar SC, Hongsanan S, Jayawardena RS, Li WJ, Perera RH, Phookamsak R, de Silva NI, Thambugala KM, Tian Q, Wijayawardene NN, Zhao RL, Zhao Q, Kang JC, Promputtha I. 2015 – The Faces of Fungi database: fungal names linked with morphology, phylogeny and human impacts. Fungal Diversity 74(1):3-18 (DOI 10.1007/s13225-015-0351-8)

Why we need to put faces to fungi

Several fungal taxonomic databases (Index Fungorum and MycoBank) can be sourced to find taxonomic details of the fungi, while sequence data for the fungi can be sourced from GenBank and UNITE. The latter nucleotide databases in particularly have very little quality control and thus blast searches for matches in GenBank are often meaningless. Although sequence data may be linked to names, the data has been lodged by literally anyone and the names are not generally linked to images, descriptions or fungarium material. There is generally no way to establish if the names are accurate or guesses. Even the AFTOL and recent higher phylogenetic studies, which have used strains from international fungaria (e.g. CBS) have rarely been linked to more than a culture number. Usually it is impossible to verify what the characters of the taxon from which the strain were isolated. Thus most fungi in public databases, whether taxonomic or gene based are faceless and much of the time we work in a vacuum, hoping that the names are correct. In April 2014 the Mushroom Research Foundation will launch a webpage for the fungi with the aim of putting faces on fungi. Not only will names have characteristics linked to sequence data, but they will also be given human attributes. Thus roles, industrial relevance, quarantine and chemistry will be included in fungal profiles. Each genus will be profiled in separate publications in relevant journals where the fungi will be illustrated, isolates from the illustrated fungi will be detailed and sequenced, and details on role, industrial relevance, biosecurity issues, importance and chemistry will be added. The relevant details will be extracted to the “faces of fungi”, web site. We hope that all mycologists will contribute to this web page over time and it will provide a comprehensive one stop shop where details of fungal genera and species, molecular data as well as their roles, biosecurity issues and industrial relevance can be sourced. The present paper is written and published in order to kick start the data entry and introduce the web page to the scientific community. Thus, the aim of the web page is to show how fungi are relevant to humans and thus put a human face on the fungal world.

Mushroom Research Foundation
Mae Fah Luang University

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