Date: 24 Feb 2010

Molecular Barcoding of Microscopic Fungi with Emphasis on the Mucoralean Genera Mucor and Rhizopus

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Abstract

A broad range of fungi were isolated from different geographic regions and substrates and identified according to traditional and modern methods. A total of 120 different isolates were assigned to the phyla, Basidiomycota with 8 isolates, Ascomycota with 75 isolates, and “Zygomycota” with 37 isolates. Although morphological characters were able to differentiate the isolates to their phyla and in most cases to the correct genera, a combination of several methods is always recommended because characterization and identification of unknown fungal isolates is highly error-prone if relying on single methods. Sequence-based identification turned out to be reliable for most Ascomycetes and Zygomycetes. But with the ongoing questionable trend to rely on sequences as first source information for species separation, the most serious problems are the annotation problems in public reference databases, the inconsistency of described taxa, and the available reference data.