With about 17,000 species, the kingdom fungi comprises almost a quarter of Austria’s biodiversity. Despite this enormous diversity and the general suitability of the barcoding approach for the determination of fungi and the identification of cryptic species, DNA-barcoding has hardly been used for Austrian fungi so far, resulting in only few available reference sequence. For this reason, barcoding of Austrian fungi was established in a subproject of the HRSM project “Establishment of a university DNA barcoding pipeline for ABOL” starting in March 2017.
In the course of the project, about 6,100 ITS sequences corresponding to about 5,000 barcodes of 2,600 species from 437 genera were generated. These barcodes are not only an important basis for future monitoring projects like LifePlan, but also resulted in the first detection of several species for Austria (e.g. Rhodocybe fumanelii or Polyporus tubaeformis), Central Europe (e.g. Amanita olivaceogrisea) or Europe (e.g. Mycena chloroxantha). In the course of several master theses, additional questions on the taxonomy of selected groups were addressed. For example, when investigating Macrocystidia cucumis, it became clear that M. cucumis var. cucumis and M. cucumis var. latifolia/minor have to be uprised to species level in the future. During the barcoding of the genera Arrhenia, Clitopilus tillii was fransfered to the genera Arrhenia as A. tillii. Another example is the reveailing of the cryptic species Chalciporus pseudopiperatus during the closer examination of Chalciporus piperatus. With the first detection of the pathogenic fungi Coleosporium montanum and Erysiphe corylacearum also practical applications of DNA barcoding were achieved. Since the analysis of the data is not completed yet, further first detections and identifications of other cryptic species can be expected. The results were published in numerous publications and the generated barcodes are available in the reference database UNITE and soon in BOLD for the scientific community.
Project status: ongoing
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