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Title: The role of herbaria and culture collections

Author
item Verkley, G.j.m. - Central Office For Fungal Cultures (CBS)
item Rossman, Amy
item Crouch, Joanne

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/20/2012
Publication Date: 3/21/2015
Citation: Verkley, G., Rossman, A.Y., Crouch, J. 2015. The role of herbaria and culture collections. In: McLaughlin, D.J., Spatafora, J.W., editors. The Mycota VII: Systematics and Evolution, Part B. 2nd edition. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. p. 205-225.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Living cultures and dried reference specimens of fungi preserved in culture collections and herbaria document the occurrence of fungi over time and space; we will never be able to return to past in order to determine exactly which fungi were present. Mycologists have used not only fungal cultures and specimens deposited in the past to reveal the historical mycota but plant specimens including those of fossils preserved with their fungal associates having proven to be a useful source for discovering rarely collected fungi on living plants. One practical reason to preserve fungal specimens when describing a new taxon is to fulfill the requirement of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Although a living culture in a metabolically inactive state are allowed to serve as holotype specimen, a dried culture specimen is also useful. Beyond systematics, fungal cultures and specimens should be deposited to document fungal research of all kinds including ecology, genetics, and plant pathology. Reference or voucher specimens are essential for the repeatability or later verification of research. Fungal herbarium specimens are becoming increasingly useful with the ability to extract DNA in order to determine, for example, the precise identity of type specimens or to determine the geographic distribution of specific populations thus historical spread of plant diseases. The protocols and techniques presented in this paper provide an overview of the best practices for dealing with fungi in herbaria and culture collections.