[Taxacom] Fungal barcodes required for species descriptions

Tim Dickinson tim.dickinson at utoronto.ca
Fri Oct 9 21:36:07 CDT 2015

The offers from Pedro Crous and Bevan Weir to provide DNA barcode 
sequence data for possibly new fungal species are really important. 
They're in a position to do this at no cost to the person providing the 
tissue! And sequencing costs, especially for single loci, are going 
down. Mandatory barcodes for fungi is not an unreasonable proposition 
(admittedly, as a botanist, this doesn't affect me...).

Stephen Thorpe's response misses the point because, if you don't 
contribute the barcode sequence to the community as part of your 
description of a new species, how can anyone else querying the barcode 
database possibly determine whether they've found an individual your new 
species? Not providing a barcode is like not providing diagnostic 
morphological characters in your description.

And please, when replying to Taxacom postings, trim off the bulk of the 
thread that readers of digests don't need to scroll past, just to get 
the benefit of your post, and those of others. We don't need to see it 
all again and again and again.

Thanks, ---TAD.

> Subject:
> [Taxacom] Fungal barcodes required for species descriptions
> From:
> Bevan Weir <WeirB at landcareresearch.co.nz>
> Date:
> 2015-10-09, 4:51 PM
> To:
> "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Starting a new thread, since this is getting pretty off topic.
> This is not (yet) a formal proposal, but mandatory barcodes if possible is something I would support for fungi. The reason is that many are impossible to distinguish without DNA sequences, especially plant pathogens, and for others they can be difficult to correctly identify without the correct spore bearing structures (that may not be fruiting).
> In essence this makes them useless to the end user. Before we had mandatory name registration it was even worse as if it was published in an obscure journal it would be difficult to know if the taxon even existed.
> For a better explanation see this talk by Pedro Crous:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkzth6h-_Wk
> The most relevant bit is from 9:08 in if you don’t want to watch the lot. He considers fungi without sequences “incomplete species hypotheses”.
> The problem is that not everyone can afford to sequence. We don’t want to stop those people from describing new taxa. Pedro in his talk says that he will sequence any culture submitted to his collection for free and give the sequence back to the author.
> Here in NZ I am happy to do the same for any culture/specimen from New Zealand if someone can’t afford it.
> Cheers,
> Bevan
> DDI: +64 9 574 4115 | W:www.landcareresearch.co.nz
> PUBLICATIONS:www.rhizobia.co.nz/papers
> Bevan,
> Fungi are somewhat of a special case, given that if it ain't fruiting, then there's nothing much to describe without looking at DNA. So, there might be an advantage in making use of DNA for fungi. But why make it mandatory? That seems a tad heavy handed of whoever is pushing for this. Is there a pressing need to describe new fungi without waiting for fruiting material?
> Cheers, Stephen

<Tim Dickinson
<Senior Curator Emeritus
<ROM Green Plant Herbarium (TRT)
<Department of Natural History
<Royal Ontario Museum
<100 Queen's Park
<Toronto  ON
<Phone:  (416) 586 8032     FAX:  (416) 586 7921
<E-mail:  tim.dickinson at utoronto.ca
<URL: http://www.rom.on.ca/en/collections-research/rom-staff/tim-dickinson
<URL: http://www.eeb.utoronto.ca/people/d-faculty/Dickinson.htm?quot;%20title=

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