Future perspectives and challenges of fungal systematics in the age of big data
Kapitel i bok, 2016

Mycological research, especially research on fungal evolution and ecology, requires a robust and detailed fungal classification and phylogeny to facilitate efficient and informative communication among mycologists as well as for comparative biology relevant to the larger bioscience community. The field of fungal systematics has undergone numerous revisions recently, from early morphological classifications to an integrative taxonomy that is increasingly reliant on molecular phylogeny. These revisions have taken place at a range of taxonomic ranks, fueled by advances surmounting two major challenges, namely, adequate and balanced sampling of genetic markers and taxa and reinterpretation of phylogenetic informativeness of numerous morphological and ecological characters. The Assembling the Fungal Tree of Life (AFTOL) projects reflected a corresponding surge of collaborative effort in fungal molecular phylogeny using PCR and Sanger sequencing. Here we review recent progress in fungal systematics after AFTOL, in the post-Sanger age, and discuss the future fungal systematics that is emerging as a result of the extraordinary volume of data being gathered by high-throughput sequencing. We examine how environmental DNA surveys, sequence-based classification, and phylogenomics and phylotranscriptomics can impact fungal systematics and point out that sequenced fungal genomes could significantly improve multi-marker phylogenetic inference at a range of levels of fungal systematics by facilitating application of phylogenetically informative experimental design. We argue that it is time to integrate fungal systematics, genome-enabled mycology, and other dimensions of fungal research within the framework of evolutionary biology.




Phylogenetic informativeness

DNA barcode


Environmental sample



R. Henrik Nilsson

Göteborgs universitet

Timothy Y. James

Yucheng Dai

Jeffrey P. Townsend

Biology of Microfungi





Biologisk systematik

Bioinformatik och systembiologi