1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To provide facilities, resources and services to APHIS personnel including data on plant-associated fungi and web-based identification resources to enhance their ability to prevent the entry of plant-quarantine significant fungi into the U.S.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
ARS will provide access to curated collections in the U.S. National Fungus Collections for use as reference specimens for identifying fungal specimens intercepted at ports-of-entry. In addition ARS will increase the number of records available in the database of fungi on plants around the world and provide accurate scientific names of plant-quarantine significant fungi. Office space and lab space is provided to APHIS personnel as well as facilities and services including taxonomic literature library, herbarium specimens, conference room, autoclave, media prep room, mail services, shared fax machine, parking and security. Additional resources are available such as accurate fungal names, specimen data from U.S. National Fungus Collections, database of literature, including entry of new references, and deposition of specimens in the U.S. National Fungus Collections. Data are continuously added to the World Fungi Database that now exceed 600,000 reports of fungi on plant hosts throughout the world.
3. Progress Report:
Two offices and one large laboratory are provided for the two APHIS mycologists and one APHIS molecular biologist with their technical personnel. In addition, they have access to the mycology library and U.S. National Fungus Collections with associated resources and consultative services. SMML personnel continued development of the fungal databases with all data made available over the Internet. Data were added to the world database of fungi on plants that now exceeds 900,000 documented reports. These data are available on the Systematic Mycology & Microbiology Laboratory Website (http://ars.usda.gov/ba/psi/smml). Although no dedicated nomenclature expert is currently working here, fungal names were updated and questions fielded by SMML scientists. Progress is monitored through frequent interactions with the co-located APHIS personnel and email communication with other APHIS personnel who are conducting pest risk assessments both in Raleigh, NC and elsewhere.