Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2009
Publication Date: 2/1/2009
Citation: Castrillo, L.A., Humber, R.A. 2009. Molecular methods of identification and diagnosis of fungi. Book Chapter. In: Stock, S.P., Vandenberg, J., Glazer, I., Boemare, N., editors. Insect pathogens: molecular approaches and techniques. Wallingford, UK: CAB International. p. 50-70. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: This chapter presents detailed information about a wide range of molecular techniques (PCR- and nonPCR-based) that can be used for identifications or diagnoses of (mostly pathogenic) fungi affecting insects and other invertebrates. There are discussions of fungal genomes, of genomic fingerprinting techniques (both PCR-based and otherwise), DNA sequencing approaches, and of the appropriate means to analyze the results of these techniques. The focus of this chapter is confined to molecular techniques useful for identifications of fungi primarily to the specific and infraspecific levels since it is rarely necessary to apply molecular techniques for the correct identification of any fungus above the level of species. Diagnoses using molecular techniques are aimed primarily at detecting fungi from environmental samples, or for tracking the establishment, dispersal, or loss of a particular fungus from an environment to which it has been introduced; diagnoses rarely demand accuracy at the species level or below and, therefore, involve a range of technical approaches that does not overlap substantially with those used for identifications. A separately authored chapter in this book deals with molecular approaches to study fungal relationships (phylogenies), classifications, taxonomic revisions, and issues of population biology. The dependence on extensive molecular samplings of many populations and collections (whether as specimens or in vitro cultures) as the basis for comparisons among fungi is distinctly different for identifications and diagnoses versus the phylogenetic/taxonomic approaches, and some of those differences are also discussed.