Web-enabled Database for Center for Forest Mycology Research Expanded
The culture collection and herbarium maintained by the Center of Forest Mycology Research (CFMR) in Madison, Wisconsin is one of the largest fungal 'libraries' in the world. The collection specializes in fungi associated with wood and contains both living fungi and dried reference specimens, which are used by researchers world-wide in studying forest pathology, disturbance biology, fungal genetics, distribution of invasive species, and impact of climate change on forest ecosystems. The CFMR's web-enabled database, accessible at http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/research/centers/mycology/culture-collection.shtml, has recently been enlarged and updated. It enables researchers around the world to access files about the CFMR's 13,000 cultures and 50,000 dried specimens representing over 1000 fungal species in a user-friendly software interface. NRS scientists at CFMR, Beatriz Ortiz-Santana, Daniel Lindner,and Jessie Glaeser, have also developed molecular tools---including 'genetic fingerprinting' using DNA sequencing and cloning techniques---to detect and identify fungi both in culture, as well as directly from wood and other substrates. These techniques are currently being used to identify fungi associated with wood decomposition under different climate regimes and fungi associated with bat hibernacula for management of white-nose syndrome (a devastating disease of bats in the Eastern U.S.) as well as for tracing the spread of destructive tree root pathogens in U.S. forests.