Kew, United Kingdom
Kew, United Kingdom

Time filter

Source Type

Blaalid R.,University of Oslo | Kumar S.,University of Oslo | Nilsson R.H.,Gothenburg University | Abarenkov K.,University of Tartu | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Ecology Resources | Year: 2013

The nuclear ribosomal Internal Transcribed Spacer ITS region is widely used as a DNA metabarcoding marker to characterize the diversity and composition of fungal communities. In amplicon pyrosequencing studies of fungal diversity, one of the spacers ITS1 or ITS2 of the ITS region is normally used. In this methodological study we evaluate the usability of ITS1 vs. ITS2 as a DNA metabarcoding marker for fungi. We analyse three data sets: two comprising ITS1 and ITS2 sequences of known taxonomic affiliations and a third comprising ITS1 and ITS2 environmental amplicon pyrosequencing data. Clustering analyses of sequences with known taxonomy using the bioinformatics pipeline ClustEx revealed that a 97% similarity cut-off represent a reasonable threshold for estimating the number of known species in the data sets for both ITS1 and ITS2. However, no single threshold value worked well for all fungi at the same time within the curated UNITE database, and we found that the Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU) concept is not easily translated into the level of species because many species are distributed over several clusters. Clustering analyses of the 134 692 ITS1 and ITS2 pyrosequences using a 97% similarity cut-off revealed a high similarity between the two data sets when it comes to taxonomic coverage. Although some groups are under- or unrepresented in the two data sets due to, e.g. primer mismatches, our results indicate that ITS1 and ITS2 to a large extent yield similar results when used as DNA metabarcodes for fungi. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Wiltshire P.E.J.,University of Aberdeen | Hawksworth D.L.,Mycology Section | Hawksworth D.L.,Complutense University of Madrid | Hawksworth D.L.,Natural History Museum in London | And 2 more authors.
Forensic Science International | Year: 2015

The body of a murdered woman was found on the planted periphery of a busy roundabout in Dundee, United Kingdom. A suspect was apprehended and his footwear yielded a similar palynological (botanical and mycological) profile to that obtained from the ground and vegetation of the crime scene, and to that of the victim's clothing. The sources of palynomorphs at the roundabout were the in situ vegetation, and macerated woody mulch which had been laid on the ground surface. The degree of rarity of individual forensic markers, the complexity of the overall profile, and the application of both botanical and mycological expertise, led to a high level of resolution in the results, enabling the exhibits to be linked to the crime scene. The suspect was convicted of murder. The interpretation of the results allowed conclusions which added to the list of essential protocols for crime scene sampling as well the requirement for advanced expertise in identification. © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Wiltshire P.E.J.,University of Aberdeen | Hawksworth D.L.,Mycology Section | Hawksworth D.L.,Complutense University of Madrid | Hawksworth D.L.,Natural History Museum in London | Edwards K.J.,University of Aberdeen
Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine | Year: 2015

Abstract Light microscopical examination of plant and fungal remains in the post mortem gut may be capable of demonstrating the ingestion of unexpected natural psychotropic materials. This is demonstrated here in a case in which a 'shaman' was accused of causing the death of a young man. The deceased had participated in a ceremony which involved the drinking of ayahuasca in order to induce a psychotropic experience. Ayahuasca is an infusion of Banisteriopsis caapi (ayahuasca vine), which produces a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, and one or more additional tropical plants, generally Psychotria viridis (chacruna) which produces dimethyltryptamine (DMT). The monoamine oxidase inhibitor prevents DMT from being broken down in the gut, so enabling its passage into the bloodstream and across the blood/brain barrier. Toxicological tests for DMT demonstrated the presence of this compound in the body. The deceased was reported to be in the habit of using Psilocybe semilanceata (liberty cap). This fungus (popularly called magic mushroom) contains psilocybin which is hydrolysed in the gut to psilocin; this compound mimics a serotonin uptake inhibitor, and also invokes psychotropic experiences. Microscopical examination established that the ileum and colon contained spores of Psilocybe and, in addition, pollen of Cannabis sativa and seeds of Papaver cf. somniferum (opium poppy). Both the plant species yield psychotropic substances. Palynological and mycological analysis of containers from the deceased person's dwelling also yielded abundant trace evidence of pertinent pollen and spores. The police had requested analysis for DMT but there was no screening for other psychotropic substances. Investigators were surprised that a mixture of hallucinogenic materials had been consumed by the deceased. The charge was modified from manslaughter to possession of a Class A' drug as the deceased had been consuming psychotropic substances not administered by the 'shaman'. Where death involving drugs from plants or fungi is suspected, microscopical examination of samples from the gut can provide a rapid and effective method for assessing, in a temporal context, the presence of ingested materials that may not have been previously suspected. The example presented here also demonstrates the need for caution in interpreting toxicological results where screening for unusual compounds has been limited. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine.


Wiltshire P.E.J.,University of Aberdeen | Hawksworth D.L.,Mycology Section | Hawksworth D.L.,Complutense University of Madrid | Hawksworth D.L.,Natural History Museum in London | And 2 more authors.
Forensic Science International | Year: 2014

A young woman claimed to have been raped at night in a wooded strip of land 120. m from her home. The suspect refuted her claim and said that they had had consensual sexual relations on an area of short turf in a local park, 130. m distant from the alleged crime scene. Comparator samples from each place, and clothing and footwear from each party, were obtained for assessment and analysis. All places that were considered to be relevant to the case were visited, and lists of plant species made. Results showed that the palynological and mycological profiles yielded by the footwear and clothing of both parties closely resembled that of the wooded area, but were dissimilar to that of the park. The profile of the wooded site reflected closely its own vegetation. Faced with the evidence, the suspect confessed. The study proves the value of a multi-proxy approach to forensic investigation using exactly the same preparations. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


PubMed | Mycology Section and University of Aberdeen
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of forensic sciences | Year: 2016

A rapid method for evaluating suspect testimony is valuable at any stage in an inquiry and can result in a change of direction in an investigation. Rape cases, in particular, can present problems where a defendant renders DNA analysis redundant by claiming that the claimant consented to have sexual relations. Forensic palynology is valuable in confirming or eliminating locations as being crime scenes, thus checking the testimony of both parties. In contrast to some forensic disciplines, forensic palynology can provide critical information without time-consuming full analysis. Two cases are described where the palynological assemblages from comparator samples of pertinent places were compared with those obtained from clothing of claimants and defendants. The results of rapid microscopical scanning of relevant preparations led to early confessions, thus obviating the need for costly analyses and protracted court proceedings. A third case demonstrates the unbiased nature of this technique where a man, although innocent of any offense, lied about having visited the crime scene for fear of prosecution. This highlights the need for sensitive policing in claims of rape.


PubMed | CNRS Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution Institute, Smithsonian Institution, Mycology Section, National University of Ireland and 4 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

We present a consensus classification of life to embrace the more than 1.6 million species already provided by more than 3,000 taxonomists expert opinions in a unified and coherent, hierarchically ranked system known as the Catalogue of Life (CoL). The intent of this collaborative effort is to provide a hierarchical classification serving not only the needs of the CoLs database providers but also the diverse public-domain user community, most of whom are familiar with the Linnaean conceptual system of ordering taxon relationships. This classification is neither phylogenetic nor evolutionary but instead represents a consensus view that accommodates taxonomic choices and practical compromises among diverse expert opinions, public usages, and conflicting evidence about the boundaries between taxa and the ranks of major taxa, including kingdoms. Certain key issues, some not fully resolved, are addressed in particular. Beyond its immediate use as a management tool for the CoL and ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), it is immediately valuable as a reference for taxonomic and biodiversity research, as a tool for societal communication, and as a classificatory backbone for biodiversity databases, museum collections, libraries, and textbooks. Such a modern comprehensive hierarchy has not previously existed at this level of specificity.


Sarwar S.,Lahore College for Women University | Saba M.,University of Punjab | Khalid A.N.,University of Punjab | Dentinger B.M.,Mycology Section
Phytotaxa | Year: 2015

Suillus marginielevatus sp. nov. and S. triacicularis are reported from Himalayan moist temperate forests of Pakistan in association with conifers. Morphologically S. marginielevatus is close to S. sibiricus, S. granulatus and S. intermedius but it can be distinguished by uplifted pileus margin and curved stipe with no ring at all stages. Phylogenetic analysis of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region showed that this species form separate clade from other closely related Suillus species. Suillus triacicularis represents a new record for Pakistani mycobiota. Field photographs of fresh basidocarps and line drawings of microcharacters are provided along with phylogenetic tree. © 2015 Magnolia Press.


Bridge P.D.,CABI Europe UK | Spooner B.M.,Mycology Section
Fungal Ecology | Year: 2012

To date over 1 000 non-lichenized fungal species have been recorded by collection or isolation from Antarctica, and additional taxa are now being identified by molecular studies. The number and variety of species recorded so far suggest that the fungi may be the most diverse biota in the Antarctic, and the additional taxa identified by molecular surveys suggest that the true diversity may be far greater than is currently estimated. Fungi occupy many different ecological niches in the Antarctic, and their significance in these niches is only poorly understood. The majority of species described from the region have been identified as members of broadly cosmopolitan groups, but there is some evidence for both endemic strains and populations. This review brings together the current broad systematic and ecological findings for the non-lichenized Antarctic fungi. © 2012.


Richter C.,Helmholtz Center for Infection Research | Wittstein K.,Helmholtz Center for Infection Research | Kirk P.M.,Mycology Section | Kirk P.M.,CAS Institute of Microbiology | And 2 more authors.
Fungal Diversity | Year: 2015

The taxonomic and nomenclatural history of the genus Ganoderma and related basidiomycetes is reviewed and compared to recent studies on its molecular phylogeny. A basidiomycete belonging to the genus Ganoderma can often rather easily be recognised in the field from the macro-morphological characters of the sporocarp. The most important species and lineages can also be discriminated well by molecular phylogeny. However, the application of incongruent species concepts and the frequent misapplication of European names by chemists and other non-taxonomists have created confusion in the scientific literature. The identity of the species reported in the course of mycochemical studies can often not be verified, since no voucher material was retained. In this review, an overview on the most important types of specific chemotaxonomic traits (i.e., secondary metabolites of the basidiomes and mycelia) reported from the genus is provided. Albeit certain triterpenoids such as ganoderic and lucidenic acids, steroids (e.g. ergosterol) and triterpenes (e.g. friedelin) appear to have some chemotaxonomic value at the generic rank, their relevance for species discrimination remains to be assessed. We propose that all important names in Ganoderma should be, as required, epitypified by fresh collections for which living cultures should be made available and that these should be examined by a combination of morphological, chemotaxonomic and molecular phylogenetic methods to attain a more stable taxonomy. © 2014, School of Science.


Roberts P.,Mycology Section
Kew Bulletin | Year: 2011

Collections of three fungal species described from Germany by Alexander von Humboldt have been rediscovered in the mycological herbarium at Kew. These collections are considered lectotypes of Boletus patella, B. venosus, and Clavaria aurea and are assigned to Postia stiptica, Physisporinus vitreus, and Calocera viscosa respectively. Humboldt's Central & South American collections are also at Kew and a list of specimens is appended. Based on the rediscovered type collection, Favolus humboldtii is considered a synonym of Polyporus tenuiculus. © 2011 The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Loading Mycology Section collaborators
Loading Mycology Section collaborators