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Evolution and identification of the fungal genus Chaetosphaeria and related moulds

Objective

The taxonomy of microscopic fungi is fundamental to the biological sciences, and a critical component of global management of biodiversity, agriculture, forestry, pharmaceutical discovery, food production, medicine, and molecular genetics. Robust species and genus concepts, combined with effective diagnostic protocols, are essential for understanding biological systems and vital for reproducible science. International projects such as "Assembling the Fungal Tree of Life" and "BarCode of Life" demonstrate a need for training fungal taxonomists to document all organisms on Earth. An effective means of classifying asexually sporulating fungi, most of which belong to the largest fungal phylum, Ascomycota, is a great problem in fungal systematics. To develop a robust taxonomy reflecting evolutionary history, this project is designed as a polyphasic study, with emphasis on phylogenomic molecular data for a group of pigmented moulds.

The research focuses on moulds with a particular mode of spore development, many of which are part of the life cycles of the sexually reproducing ascomycete genus Chaetosphaeria. These moulds are classified in 16 artificial 'form' genera that include about 250 known and perhaps many undiscovered species, cosmopolitan in distribution with a centre of evolution in the tropics. Chaetosphaeria has a long history of taxonomic problems, resulting from the simple, uniform morphological characters of its species. This fungal group is an example where evolutionary change is more evident in asexual rather than sexual morphology, which makes it of theoretical as well of as practical interest. Our main goal is a world monograph of Chaetosphaeria. To achieve this, we will employ a spectrum of standard and novel methods: microscopy, in vitro experiments, field and herbarium studies, DNA sequencing and prediction of 2D RNA structures, homology modelling and character-based phylogenetic analysis.

Field of science

  • /humanities/history and archaeology/history
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/molecular biology/molecular genetics
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/microbiology/mycology

Call for proposal

FP6-2004-MOBILITY-6
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

OIF - Marie Curie actions-Outgoing International Fellowships

Coordinator

INSTITUTE OF BOTANY ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

Participants (1)

BIODIVERSITY TEAM (MYCOLOGY & BOTANY), ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES THEME, AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD CANADA