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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

FungalTraits: a user-friendly traits database of fungi and fungus-like stramenopiles

Polme, Sergei; Abarenkov, Kessy; Henrik Nilsson, R.; Lindahl, Bjorn D.; Clemmensen, Karina Engelbrecht; Kauserud, Havard; Nguyen, Nhu; Kjoller, Rasmus; Bates, Scott T.; Baldrian, Petr; Froslev, Tobias Guldberg; Adojaan, Kristjan; Vizzini, Alfredo; Suija, Ave; Pfister, Donald; Baral, Hans-Otto; Jarv, Helle; Madrid, Hugo; Norden, Jenni; Liu, Jian-Kui;
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The cryptic lifestyle of most fungi necessitates molecular identification of the guild in environmental studies. Over the past decades, rapid development and affordability of molecular tools have tremendously improved insights of the fungal diversity in all ecosystems and habitats. Yet, in spite of the progress of molecular methods, knowledge about functional properties of the fungal taxa is vague and interpretation of environmental studies in an ecologically meaningful manner remains challenging. In order to facilitate functional assignments and ecological interpretation of environmental studies we introduce a user friendly traits and character database FungalTraits operating at genus and species hypothesis levels. Combining the information from previous efforts such as FUNGuild and Fun(Fun) together with involvement of expert knowledge, we reannotated 10,210 and 151 fungal and Stramenopila genera, respectively. This resulted in a stand-alone spreadsheet dataset covering 17 lifestyle related traits of fungal and Stramenopila genera, designed for rapid functional assignments of environmental studies. In order to assign the trait states to fungal species hypotheses, the scientific community of experts manually categorised and assigned available trait information to 697,413 fungal ITS sequences. On the basis of those sequences we were able to summarise trait and host information into 92,623 fungal species hypotheses at 1% dissimilarity threshold.


Fungal traits; Trophic modes; Function; Guild; Bioinformatics; High-throughput sequencing; Community ecology

Published in

Fungal Diversity
2020, volume: 105, number: 1, pages: 1-16
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

Polme, Sergei
University of Tartu
Abarenkov, Kessy
University of Tartu
Henrik Nilsson, R.
University of Gothenburg
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment
Clemmensen, Karina Engelbrecht (Engelbrecht Clemmensen, Karina)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology
Kauserud, Havard
University of Oslo
Nguyen, Nhu
University of Hawaii Manoa
Kjoller, Rasmus
University of Copenhagen
Bates, Scott T.
Purdue Univ Northwest
Baldrian, Petr
Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Froslev, Tobias Guldberg
University of Copenhagen
Adojaan, Kristjan
University of Tartu
Vizzini, Alfredo
University of Turin
Suija, Ave
University of Tartu
Pfister, Donald
Harvard University
Baral, Hans-Otto
No organisation
Jarv, Helle
SYNLAB Estonia
Madrid, Hugo
Universidad Mayor
Norden, Jenni
Norwegian Institute Nature Research
Liu, Jian-Kui
University of Electronic Science and Technology of China
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