The F-Team: Readying for fungal inventory around the world

Since the Reo (1991) and Johannesburg (2001) Summits of Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD), every country around the world has recognized the importance of its own biological resources. The CBD has conferred every nation a sovereign or permanent right on its biological resources, viz. flowering and non-flowering plants, animals – big or small, and microorganisms of all kinds (algae, bacteria and fungi). It has therefore become mandatory for every nation to establish nation’s biodiversity authority, document its bio-resources and set out guidelines for regulation of its biological resources. It has also been apparent that unless the countries have their own documented list of bio-resources, it is impossible to regulate the movement of organisms, big or small within and out of the country. Therefore, documentation of biological resources has become an urgent task.

Many countries have set up their own national biodiversity documentation teams or committees with mandate to prepare a check-list of biological resources, within a timeline. Many of the developed countries either have the check-lists in place or in the making. While making of check-lists for higher plants and animals is rather easy through national human resources, listing the generally invisible microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and algae has become a daunting task in view of limited number of subject-specific experts within the country.

Realizing the importance of such a requirement around the world, the Mushroom Research Centre, Chiang Mai, Thailand, has set up an international authority for fungi entitled the ‘FUNGUS-TEAM’ or ‘F-TEAM’ with a task of preparing regional  fungal check-list within a stipulated time for any needy country. The team, comprising of very competent and talented mycologists drawn from around the world as experts to guide and monitor, would collect representative samples of fungi from native, undisturbed, wild habitats, identify the fungi and prepare a check-list in a stipulated time period.  Such a check-list would serve a baseline data for future fungal regulatory work. Given a sanction, F-Team will work independently or in association with a national institute or committee, especially in collecting and studying the fungi.

Mushroom Reaecrch Centre, is a non-government and non-profit-making organization has since inception been promoting studies on fungal diversity and taxonomy throughout Asia and the world by imparting practical and hands-on training and expertise in fungal biology to higher degree level students. Commencing in June 2003, the Centre has conducted several workshops and training programs on topics such as fungal diversity and taxonomy, plant quarantine taxonomy, aquatic fungi and identification of mushrooms. The centre has completed several fungus biodiversity documentation studies and brought out many monographic treatments authored by international fungal experts (Le et al. 2007a, b; Sanmee et al. 2008; Kerekes and Desjardin 2009; Wannathes et al. 2009a, b; Van de Putte et al. 2010; Zhao 2008; Zhao et al. 2010, 2011a, b; Vellinga et al. 2011; Karunarathna et al. 2011a, b).  

Literature cited

Fournier J, Stadler M, Hyde KD & Duong ML (2010) The new genus Rostrohypoxylon and two new Annulohypoxylon species from northern Thailand. Fungal Diversity 40:23–36
Le TH, Nuytinck J, Verbeken A, Lumyong S, Desjardin ED (2007a) Lactarius in northern Thailand: 1. Lactarius subgenus Piperites. Fungal Divers 24:173–224
Karunarathna SC, Yang ZL, Olivier R, Ko Ko TW, Vellinga EC, Zhao RL, Bahkali AK, Chukeatirote E, Degreef J, Callac P, Hyde KD (2011a) Lentinus giganteus revisited: new collections from Sri Lanka and Thailand. Mycotaxon 118:57–71
Karunarathna SC, Yang ZL, Zhao R, Vellinga EC, Bahkali AH, Chukeatirote E, Hyde KD (2011b) Three new species of Lentinus from northern Thailand. Mycol Prog 10:389–398
Kerekes J, Desjardin DE (2009) A monograph of the genera Crinipellis and Moniliophthora from Southeast Asia including a molecular phylogeny of the nrITS region. Fungal Divers 37:101–152
Le TH, Nuytinck J, Stubbe D, Verbeken A, Lumyong S, Desjardin ED (2007b) Lactarius in Northern Thailand: 2. Lactarius subgenus Plinthogali. Fungal Divers 27:61–94
Sanmee R, Tulloss RE, Lumyong P, Dell B, Lumyong S (2008) Studies on Amanita (Basidiomycetes: Amanitaceae) in northern Thailand. Fungal Divers 32:97–123
Van de Putte K, Nuytinck J, Stubbe D, Le TH, Verbeken A (2010) Lactarius volemus sensu lato (Russulales) from northern Thailand: morphological and phylogenetic species concepts explored. Fungal Divers 45:99–130
Vellinga EC, Sysouphanthong P & Hyde KD (2011) The family Agaricaceae: phylogenies and two new white-spored genera. Mycologia, 103(3): 494–509. DOI: 10.3852/10-204
Wannathes N, Desjardin DE, Lumyong S (2009a) Four new species of Marasmius section Globulares from northern Thailand. Fungal Divers 36:155–163
Wannathes N, Desjardin DE, Hyde KD, Perry BA, Lumyong S (2009b) A monograph of Marasmius (Basidiomycota) from northern Thailand based on morphological and molecular (ITS sequences). Fungal Divers 37:209–306
Zhao RL (2008) Systematics of Agaricus, Cyathus and Micropsalliota in northern Thailand. PhD thesis, KMITL, Bangkok, Thailand.
Zhao RL, Desjardin DE, Soytong K, Perry BA, Hyde KD (2010) A monograph of Micropsalliota in northern Thailand based on morphological and molecular data. Fungal Diversity 43. DOI: 10.1007/s13225-010-0050-4
Zhao RL, Hyde KD, Desjardin DE, Raspé O, Soytong K, Guinberteau J, Karunarathna SC, Callac P (2011a) Agaricus flocculosipes sp. nov., a new potentially cultivatable species from the palaeotropics. Mycoscience doi 10.1007/s10267-011-0169-5
Zhao RL, Karunarathna SC, Raspé O, Parra LA, Guinberteau J, Moinard M, De Kesel A, Barroso G, Courtecuisse R, Hyde KD, Guelly AK, Desjardin DE, Callac P (2011b) Major clades in tropical Agaricus. Fungal Divers 51:279–296

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