Describing Australia's native fungi
Throughout Australia there is a diverse assemblage of native fungi that play vital ecological roles alongside the country’s flora and fauna. A large proportion of this biodiversity remains undescribed.
RBGV scientists discover previously unknown fungi at field sites and through re-examination of historic herbarium material, leading to formal documentation of novel species. Molecular phylogenetic and genomic approaches are essential to these efforts, aiding in species identification, discovery and description of new species, assisting in the inference of relationships between lineages, and elucidating biogeographic and evolutionary patterns.
These findings contribute to the management of fungi themselves, but also plant and animal populations, especially ectomycorrhizal plants and mycophagous mammals. Our work cataloguing the molecular diversity of native fungi also underpins the growing field of environmental metagenomics by facilitating the taxonomic interpretation of eDNA sequences.