MSA 2012, Yale
Mycena haematopus by zaca

Mini-Symposia and Round Table Discussions

The science that underpins fungal conservation

Monday, July 16, 1:30-3:30 pm

Co-chairs Paul F. Cannon (CABI and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) and Greg Mueller (Chicago Botanic Garden)


  • Bryn T.M. Dentinger, D. Jean Lodge, A. Martyn Ainsworth and Paul F. Cannon
    Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, and Center for Forest Mycology Research, USDA-FS, NRS, Puerto Rico
    Systematics and barcoding of waxcap fungi
  • Matteo Garbelotto and Todd Osmundson
    University of California, Berkeley
    Is there a "best" unit of conservation for valuable mushroom species? A scientific approach based on studies on matsutakes, morels and truffles
  • Martyn Ainsworth, David Parfitt, Hilary J. Rogers and Lynne Boddy
    Natural England and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
    Species concepts and conservation actions for European hydnoid fungi
  • Christoff Scheidegger
    Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL
    Population genetics of Lobariaceae of conservation importance
  • Karen W. Hughes and Ronald H. Petersen
    University of Tennessee, Knoxville
    Current fungal data from the Great Smoky Mountains ATBI are inadequate to determine conservation status: what is needed?

Conservation is a key area of applied mycology that has to date been hardly addressed by the mycological community, and issues of fungal conservation are avoided in the vast majority of conservation strategies worldwide. These two facts are not unrelated. That does not mean that mycology has nothing to offer conservation science, rather the problems relate to recognition of relevance and communication issues. The symposium will showcase current basic fungal research programmes that feed directly into the conservation arena, including systematics at the species and population level, and the role of fungi in maintaining ecosystem viability.

Phylogenetic, Ecological, and Functional Diversity of Fungi

Monday, July 16, 1:30-3:30 pm

Chair Brendan P. Hodkinson (International Plant Science Center)


  • Kathryn Picard, Rowena F. Stern and François Lutzoni
    Duke University
    Investigating early- diverging fungi from marine and estuarine habitats in North America and Europe
  • Scott T. Bates, J. Gregory Caporaso, D. Lee Taylor and Noah Fierer
    University of Colorado-Boulder
    High-throughput sequencing to explore the biogeography of soil fungi and the use of network analyses to examine fungal-bacterial interactions
  • Starri Heiðmarsson
    Icelandic Institute of Natural History
    Diversity and phylogeny of freshwater Verrucariaceae
  • Brendan P. Hodkinson and James C. Lendemer
    International Plant Science Center
    A multi-gene pyrosequencing-based approach for elucidating the phylogeny of diverse lichenized microfungi

How do we best characterize fungal diversity? The speakers in this symposium will explore fungi in the environment from varied perspectives, examining the relationships and interactions between organisms. This symposium links various disciplines (e.g., systematics, ecology, genetics, metagenomics, metaproteomics) around the theme of studying environmental fungal diversity.

The mycologist’s guide to the new International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants

Monday, July 16, 4-6 pm

Co-chairs Lorelei Norvell, Scott Redhead (on behalf of the IAPT Nomenclatural Committee for Fungi) and Keith Seifert (IMA/IUMS International Commission on the Taxonomy of Fungi)


  • Lorelei Norvell and Scott Redhead
    A mycologist's guide to the Melbourne Code
  • Andrew Minnis
    Ascomycete taxonomy and the outset of the one name era for fungi
  • M. Catherine Amie
    Basidiomycete taxonomy without Art. 59
  • Keith Seifert and Andy Miller
    Subcommissions, working groups, and protected lists,
  • Vincent Robert, Joost Stalpers and Pedro W. Crous
    Nomenclatural databases as working tools for taxonomists, How can the nomenclaturally naïve adapt to this new world? Codes of practice

At the 2010 International Botanical Congress, major changes were made to the former International Code of Botanical Nomenclature that will affect all biologists working with fungi. Dual nomenclature, the historical practice of applying two or more names to different morphological states of one fungus, has now been abandoned and will be replaced by a single name, strict priority based system in harmony with the rest of biology. Electronic publication of nomenclatural acts is now permitted under certain circumstances without the need for printed copies. English has been added to Latin as the second language for nomenclatural diagnoses, with at least one of the two required for valid publication. Nomenclatural novelties must now be registered in MycoBank. A new initiative, called Lists of Protected Names, provides the opportunity for working groups interested in particular taxa to develop lists of accepted names that, once sanctioned by the Nomenclatural Committee for Fungi, cannot be overturned by the discovery of earlier published names. This symposium represents a collaboration between the Nomenclatural Committee for Fungi (of the IAPT) and the International Commission of the Taxonomy of Fungi (of the IMA and IUMS), in an effort to communicate accurate information about the new code, and organize community activities to address the opportunities the new code provides.

The fungal DNA Barcode and Beyond

Wednesday, July 18, 1:30-3:30 pm

Co-chairs Conrad Schoch (NCBI) and Ning Zhang (Rutgers University)


  • Edgar Schreiber
  • Ning Zhang
    Rutgers, USA
    Barcodes and a Mycochip - a case study on turfgrass pathogen barcoding and diagnosis
  • Terri Porter and G. Brian Golding
    McMaster University, Canada
    Using alignment-based and composition-based methods for assigning fungal ITS barcodes ORThe next step: using multiple barcodes in environmental surveys. onfidence
  • André Lévesque, Gregg Robideau, Chen Wen and Lewis Christopher
    Agriculture Canada
    Oomycete barcoding and applications
  • Vincent Robert
    CBS, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Fungal barcoding database, innovative concepts
  • Damon P. Little
    The use of DNA barcode techniques to identify the constituents of teas and herbal dietary supplements

The need to document fungal diversity remains as pressing as ever with the recent increase in environmental sequencing highlighting the need for well-validated sequences. The international DNA barcoding movement has provided an important impetus in documentation of biodiversity for several biological groups and Mycology has an important role to play. By December 2011, we will have an official fungal barcode declared for Fungi. This will provide important opportunities for the fungal community to link up with disparate groups. Authoritative sequences will also be essential in order to stabilize fungal nomenclature. In order to accomplish this, a broad set of sequences need to be linked to reliable specimens in a consistent and verifiable fashion. DNA Barcoding represents an important way to accomplish this and will also link traditional mycology with bioinformatics, environmental science and the new sequencing technologies. In this symposium, we will address ways in which barcoding data collection can be accelerated, archived and used to incorporate information about biodiversity.

Comparative Genomics of Fungi

Wednesday, July 18, 1:30-3:30 pm

Co-chairs Joey Spatafora and Jason Stajich


  • Jason Stajich, David A. Hewitt and Gregory Jedd
    Insights into independent origins of multicellularity from comparative genomics of Neolecta
  • Kathryn E. Bushley and Joseph W. Spatafora
    Convergent and divergent evolution of non-ribosomal peptide synthetases
  • Stephen B. Goodwin
    Evolution of plant pathogenesis within Dothideomycetes
  • Thomas A. Richards
    Horizontal gene transfer and public goods games in fungi and fungi-like organisms
  • Mary L. Berbee, Satoshi Sekimoto, Ludovic LeRenard, Joseph W. Spatafora and AFTOL2 Working Group
    Becoming A Fungus: Comparative Phylogenetic Studies of Evolution of Absorptive Nutrition

Genomic technologies are rapidly becoming incorporated in all aspects of fungal biology. This is especially true in phylogenetics and evolutionary biology and students today must be increasingly prepared to pursue genome-enabled comparative biology of fungi. The proposed symposium will highlight ongoing research in comparative genomics of fungi as it pertains to morphology diversification (e.g., origin of hyphae), transitions in ecologies (e.g., transitions between saprobes and symbionts), and resolving longstanding problematic questions in fungal phylogenetics (e.g., early diverging lineages of the Fungi)

Fungi in a Changing World

Wednesday, July 18, 4:00-6 pm

Co-chairs Erik Hobbie, (University of New Hampshire), Linda van Diepen (University of New Hampshire), and Jacqueline Mohan (University of Georgia)


  • Håvard Kauserud, Einar Heegaard, Ulf Büntgen, Simon Egli, Rune Halvorsen and Lynne Boddy
    University of Oslo, Norway
    Temporal patterns of fungal fruiting reveal ongoing climate change effects
  • Michael F. Allen
    University of California at Riverside
    Mycorrhizae and resource acquisition: dynamics in fluctuating environments
  • Kathleen K. Treseder
    University of California at Irvine
    The role of fungi in mediating ecosystem responses to global change
  • Kate Orwin, Miko U.F. Kirschbaum, Julie R. Deslippe and Ian A. Dickie
    Lancaster University, UK
    The impact of mycorrhizal fungal traits on ecosystem responses to global change: A modelling approach
  • Ari Jumpponen
    Kansas State University
    Tallgrass prairie soil microbial communities are resilient to climate change
  • Lynne Boddy
    Cardiff University, UK
    Interactions among saprotrophic fungi and invertebrate grazers under climate change

Global change research has been an integral part of ecosystem ecology for the past several decades, but the key role of fungi in mediating many effects of global change is poorly known. In this symposium, we will explore the latest work across diverse biomes examining fungal interactions with global change. Long-term records reveal that the timing of fungal fruiting is already changing. New sequencing tools provide unparalleled views of the structure of fungal communities, while new modeling efforts promise to link fungal functioning firmly to a suite of key ecosystem processes. Global change experiments suggest that fungal interactions with plants and soil organic matter greatly influence system responses to warming, elevated carbon dioxide, and nutrient amendments. To bridge the remaining gaps in our knowledge of the drivers of below ground processes and communities, mycologists and scientists from other disciplines should collaborate in the design and implementation of global change studies.

Using Cellular Structure and Biochemistry as Indicators of Fungal Phylogeny

Wednesday, July 18, 3:30-6 pm

Co-chairs Robby Roberson and Brian Shaw


  • Robby Roberson
    The structure of the hyphal apex: Spitzenkörper or not
  • David McLaughlin, T.K. Arun Kumar and Rosanne A. Healy
    What can nuclear division, spindle pole body, and septal pore characters reveal about fungal phylogeny?
  • Martha J. Powell and Peter M. Letcher
    Using Cellular Structure and Biochemistry for Insights into Fungal Cell Biology and Phylogeny
  • Salomon Bartnicki-Garcia
    Lysine pathways and cell wall chemistry revealed the existence of two evolutionary lines within the Kingdom Fungi
  • John D. Weete, Maritza Abril and Meredith Blackwel
    Biochemical characters support fungal lineages
  • Brian Shaw, Da-Woon Chung, Srijana Upadhyay, Charles Greenwald, Sheng-Li Deng, Heather H. Wilkinson and Daniel J. Ebbole
    Regulation of conidiation in Aspergillus nidulans and Neurospora crassa

In light of the plethora of data using molecular phylogeny it seems timely to present and evaluate the historical data and recent findings regarding the diversity of cellular structure and biochemistry relative to fungal evolution. Such a symposium would fit well with the theme of the meeting in that would link cell and structural biology, biochemistry and phylogenetics.

Round Table Discussions

Toward a roadmap for fungal conservation research in North America: tools, data needs and collaborations

Monday, July 16, 4-6 pm

Organizers Else Vellinga and Todd Osmundson, the MSA Conservation Committee


  • Barbara Thiers
  • Tom Bruns
  • Tom Horton
  • Erik Lilleskov
  • Elizabeth Barron

The threat of large-scale species extinctions during this century makes understanding the extent, functions, and consequences of loss of biodiversity one of the most imperative areas of biological research today. At the same time that environmental DNA studies highlight the depths of unknown fungal diversity, taxonomic specialists are continuing to decrease in number. Relatively few fungal conservation-oriented studies are conducted in North America compared to Europe; the extent of species endemism and rarity is therefore unknown for most habitat types, and consideration of fungi for conservation action (e.g., RED lists) in North America lags far behind many European countries. The proposed roundtable discussion is intended to bring together mycological taxonomists, conservation biologists, and ecologists to chart a path for fungal conservation research in North America, including the best use of existing and emerging tools and building collaborations in order to streamline the processes of identifying priority issues, assessing fungal biodiversity, closing major data gaps, and addressing threats to fungal diversity.

The following topic areas will be introduced by means of a brief (approximately 5-minute) presentation followed by discussion open to all persons present.

  1. Toward a more complete knowledge of the North American mycota: approaches, collaborations, and issues.
  2. Threats to fungal diversity.
  3. Biodiversity assessment in an age of dwindling taxonomic expertise: harnessing molecular tools and training new taxonomic specialists.
  4. Role of herbaria in fungal conservation: new tools for information gathering and transfer.
  5. Professional-amateur collaborations as a means to address the "dwindling taxonomists" issue.
  6. Fungal conservation in action: experiences, issues, and data needs.

1000 Fungal Genome Project

Tuesday, July 17, 8-9 pm

Organizer Joey Spatafora

The ’1000 Fungal Genomes’ is a five-year project to sequence two species from every known fungal family. The project is a first step in creating an encyclopedia of all fungi, which will one day help researchers understand not only what they do, but also how fungi function. The five-year project is part of an effort to learn more about unsung organisms that are key to everything from carbon cycling to production of life-saving drugs, including old-fashioned wonder drugs such as penicillin — as well as best sellers such as the cholesterol-lowering statins and the immunosuppresant ciclosporins, which make organ transplants possible. Fungi are also used in various myco-remediation projects and, in some cases, for preventive forest health treatments. The project has grant funding from the Department of Energy, researchers with the U.S. Forest Service and other institutions and is ready to start sequencing 1,000 fungal genomes.