Vol. 2, Issue 6 (2017)
A study of genetic characterization and fungus diversity
Author(s): Raju Chaganrao Sarvade
Abstract: The extent of fungal diversity is reviewed, with respect to revised estimates of the numbers of plant species, and recent data on the extent of novelty in tropical forests, unexplored habitats, and numbers of orphaned, cryptic, and collected but yet undescribed species. Collections of fungal cultures are considered to be better referred to as “genetic resource collections” rather than “culture collections” to mesh with current terminology in other groups of organisms. The extent of holdings relative to the numbers of known and estimated species are reviewed and compared with those of vascular plants in botanic gardens and seed banks. The role of collections in supporting fungal genomics and molecular biology, and as a source of vouchers to vindicate published work in all aspects of mycology, is highlighted. Information is presented on the extent to which collections worldwide document and conserves the Earth’s fungal genetic resource. Finally, the special role and responsibilities of CBS, as the major centre for the conservation of fungal genetic resources worldwide, is emphasized. Over the last 10 years plant pathologists have begun to realize that more knowledge about the genetic structure of populations of plant pathogens is needed to implement effective control strategies. Research on the genetic structure of fungal populations has mushroomed, and review studies that summarize these studies are numerous. Although the number of fungal studies has increased greatly, the most comprehensive work has focused on a small number of plant-pathogenic fungi. The majority of these fungi can be recognized easily by their fruiting bodies or disease symptoms on aboveground plant parts. It has proven more difficult to assess the genetic structure of fungal populations that exist mainly belowground, because the distribution of individuals cannot be visualized directly and appropriate sampling procedures are less obvious and more cumbersome. Nevertheless, substantial progress has been made in interpreting the population genetic structure of some soilborne fungi. The purpose of this study is to provide an overview of the tools and techniques of fungal population genetics.