BPP Fall Seminar Series
October 8 | Dr. Camille Truong
Fungal diversity as a basis for ecological and conservation studies
The fungi kingdom is among the most diverse eukaryotic lineages on Earth with estimates of several million extant species, including important pathogens and mutualists. Despite their impacts on primary ecosystem functions, assessments of fungal biodiversity estimate that <10% of fungal species have been described. Environmental studies using high-throughput sequencing methods are a powerful tool to rapidly detect hidden fungal diversity, but require a careful interpretation to make accurate inferences. DNA barcoding of fresh and herbarium specimens, as well as culture collections, is therefore extremely valuable to link unidentified sequences to known taxa. Today’s threats to biodiversity are occurring at an unprecedented scale, and it is possible that many fungal species may become extinct before they have been discovered. In the need to describe and protect as many species as possible, I will address the following questions: what are the best methods to rapidly document fungal biodiversity? Are specimen-based approaches still useful?
Dr. Camille Truong
Camille Truong is an Associate Researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Her expertise spans across taxonomy, molecular systematics, evolution of symbiosis and modelization of ecological data. She is particularly interested in fungal biodiversity from tropical and southern temperate ecosystems, to understand the role of fungal diversity for ecosystem functioning and the evolution of plant-fungi interactions through time and space.