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Welcome to the Fungi from Mycorrhizal Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) Database.

Mycorrhizae are intimate associations between plant roots and fungi that benefit trees by extending the soil-inhabiting surface area of their root systems. This database provides DNA sequences from fungi that were part of the microbial community sampled from hemlock mycorrhizae. Some of the fungi are truly mycorrhizal species. Others are probably casual associates of the mycorrhizae and are incapable of forming mycorrhizal relationships.

All were sampled from western Canada, from northern Vancouver Island, located between Port McNeil and Port Hardy, British Columbia (50 60?N, 127 35?W).

Explanation for information in columns.

Identifications are based on DNA sequences from the ribosomal repeat regions known as 'internal transcribed spacers.' A DNA sequence was considered identified to species if it was 97% or more identical to a sequence from an identified species from the GenBank sequence database. It was considered identified to genus if it was 90% or more identical to an identified sequence. 'Unidentified clones' were DNA sequences from clone libraries of fungal DNAs made from extracts from pooled mycorrhizal roots. These sequences were less than 90% identical to any other GenBank sequences. 'Unidentified cultures' were sequences from fungi in pure culture that were less than 90% identical to any other GenBank sequences.

To locate a DNA sequence, click on 'DNA data'.

The 'closest GenBank sp.' was the closest match to our sequence based on a BLAST search.

A correlated culture is a fungal culture from the mycorrhizal root. The culture is available through the University of Alberta's Microfungus Collection and Herbarium (UAMH) and the number is its accession number.

'CDE descriptions' or 'Concise Descriptions of North American Ectomycorrhizae' are descriptions of the visible characteristics, or morphotypes, of the mycorrhizal types corresponding to our DNA sequences. Descriptions are available through Cite an individual description as follows:

Goodman, D.M. and Trofymow, J.A. 1996. Piloderma fallax (Libert) Stalpers + Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco, CDE1. In Concise Descriptions of North American Ectomycorrhizae. Edited by D.M. Goodman, D.M. Durall, J.A. Trofymow, and S.M. Berch. Mycologue Publications, and Canada-B.C. Forest Resource Development Agreement, Canadian Forest Service, Victoria, B.C. pp. CDE1.1-CDE1.4.

A 'yes' in the 'evidence for mycorrhizal status' column means that the fungal species is either a well-known mycorrhizal fungal species or that the fungal DNA matches the DNA from a collection of several mycorrhizae that shared a recognizable morphotype. A 'no' in the status column means that we do not yet have any evidence concerning mycorrhizal status. We do not know whether most of the fungi that grew as cultures from roots were actually mycorrhizal. We also do not know whether the fungi detected as DNAs from clone libraries from mycorrhizal roots were, in fact, mycorrhizal.

This web site is funded through B.C. Forest Research Project Y051190. Contributors include Shannon Wright, UBC Botany M.Sc. student; SeaRa Lim and Paul Kroeger, UBC Botany Research Associates; Hanna Raphael, Emma Harrower and Laura Super, UBC undergraduates; Dave Carmean, database design; Shannon Berch, B.C. Ministry of Forests; and M. Berbee, UBC Botany. It is a component of the Salal Cedar Hemlock Integrated Research Program on the ecology and management of ericaceous shrub-dominated ecosystems in coastal BC, PI Cindy Prescott, Faculty of Forestry, UBC. Additional information on ectomycorrhizal research in British Columbia is at BCERN.


This database contains collection data, photographs and some DNA data. Please contact Mary Berbee at berbee@interchange.ubc.ca.