9 Subcellular Structure and Biochemical Characters in Fungal Phylogeny

  • David J. McLaughlin
  • T. K. Arun Kumar
  • Meredith Blackwell
  • Peter M. Letcher
  • Robert W. Roberson
Part of the The Mycota book series (MYCOTA, volume 7B)


To clarify the past and potential roles of ultrastructural and biochemical characters in understanding fungal phylogeny and to make these data available for a wider range of fungal studies, we review the history of their study, especially since the mid-twentieth century. Recent molecular phylogenetic studies have revealed major gaps in the structural and biochemical data for Fungi as well as the incompleteness of studies within well-known taxonomic groups. We also consider the efforts to make the limited data on subcellular and biochemical characters available in the Structural and Biochemical Database. This database is a compilation of subcellular and biochemical information from the literature in a standardized format to permit precise data comparisons, identify phylogenetically informative characters, and provide character state coding and illustrations of character states; data are linked to voucher information for each taxon. The data are exportable in NEXUS format, which permits phylogenetic tree and ancestral character state reconstructions. Methods for incorporating structural and biochemical data into phylogenetic and other analyses are discussed, as is the role of the Fungal Subcellular Ontology in promoting data retrieval for use in related cellular, genetic, and ecological studies. Methods for obtaining subcellular data for Fungi are described to provide guidance for the evaluation of existing data and to assist in future data acquisition.


Structural Character Glycine Betaine Xylose Reductase Apical Organization Spindle Pole Body 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Assembling the Fungal Tree of Life award (DEB-0732550) to D.J.M., (DEB-0732599) to P.M.L., (DEB-0732671) and the Boyd Professor Research Fund to M.B., (DEB-0732503) to R.W.R., College of Biological Sciences and Imaging Center, University of Minnesota, and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute for support of the Structural and Biochemical Database development. The authors wish to thank Mahajabeen Padamsee and Maritza Abril for their contributions to the AFTOL2 project and Rosanne Healy for assistance with figures and helpful discussion. M.B. acknowledges a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship that provided the time and environment for writing.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. McLaughlin
    • 1
  • T. K. Arun Kumar
    • 2
  • Meredith Blackwell
    • 3
    • 4
  • Peter M. Letcher
    • 5
  • Robert W. Roberson
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Plant BiologyUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA
  2. 2.Department of BotanyThe Zamorin’s Guruvayurappan CollegeCalicutIndia
  3. 3.Department of Biological SciencesLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  5. 5.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  6. 6.School of Life SciencesArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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