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Abstract Detail

Weresub Lecture - Dr. Mary Berbee, et al.

Berbee, Mary L. [1], Harrower, Emma [1], Cappuccino, Adam [1], Dee, Jaclyn [1], Kranabetter, Marty [1], Kroeger, Paul [1], Lim, SeaRa [1].

Establishing the baseline for fungal diversity in British Columbia for times of changing climate.

Climate change and the ensuing northward migration of plants lend new urgency to research on fungal diversity. Fungi are essential to plants in roles including beneficial mycorrhizal partnerships. Will the appropriate communities of fungi still be available as plants colonize new locations? We are interested in determining current fungal species diversity and in developing methods to survey fungal species composition, laying the groundwork to monitor and predict change. The number of known fungal species in the province is in the 1000ís and the number of species yet to be detected here is probably many times higher. Yet the technology and human resources necessary to make rapid progress in assessing fungal diversity and ecology are largely in place. As a test case to evaluate and augment the current state of knowledge, we have been studying species diversity in the mushroom genus Cortinarius, a large genus of mycorrhizal fungi with ~4000 species worldwide. We are sequencing DNA from all available Cortinarius vouchers from BC to find nucleotide barcodes. Having determined the barcodes for hundreds of vouchers, we are sorting specimens into species, and confirming taxonomic names for species described first in Europe where, due to a long tradition of mycological investigation, fungal diversity is best characterized. The number of species we barcoded now stands at 117, twice the number of Cortinarius species recorded in the literature from BC. Our new specimens and annotations of earlier specimens enrich the fungal collection in the UBC herbarium in the Beaty Museum. By developing specimen collections and barcodes, and by improving molecular detection technology, the mycological community will be able to correlate the occurrence of fungal species with geographical regions and better track community changes with climatic trends.

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1 - University of British Columbia, Botany Department, 3529-6270 University Boulevard, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada


Presentation Type: Special Presentation
Session: SL5
Location: Blair A/Gage
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 7:30 PM
Number: SL5001
Abstract ID:1139

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