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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Current Insight into Culture-Dependent and Culture-Independent Methods in Discovering Ascomycetous Taxa

Wijayawardene, Nalin N.; Bahram, Mohammad; Sanchez-Castro, Ivan; Dai, Dong-Qin; Ariyawansa, Kahandawa G. S. U.; Jayalal, Udeni; Suwannarach, Nakarin; Tedersoo, Leho


Culture techniques are vital in both traditional and modern fungal taxonomy. Establishing sexual-asexual links and synanamorphs, extracting DNA and secondary metabolites are mainly based on cultures. However, it is widely accepted that a large number of species are not sporulating in nature while others cannot be cultured. Recent ecological studies based on culture-independent methods revealed these unculturable taxa, i.e., dark taxa. Recent fungal diversity estimation studies suggested that environmental sequencing plays a vital role in discovering missing species. However, Sanger sequencing is still the main approach in determining DNA sequences in culturable species. In this paper, we summarize culture-based and culture-independent methods in the study of ascomycetous taxa. High-throughput sequencing of leaf endophytes, leaf litter fungi and fungi in aquatic environments is important to determine dark taxa. Nevertheless, currently, naming dark taxa is not recognized by the ICN, thus provisional naming of them is essential as suggested by several studies.


consolidated species concept; fungal diversity; molecular taxonomy; morphological characters; traditional taxonomy; polyphasic approach

Published in

Journal of Fungi
2021, volume: 7, number: 9, article number: 703
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Wijayawardene, Nalin N.
Guizhou Medical University
University of Tartu
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Sanchez-Castro, Ivan
University of Granada
Dai, Dong-Qin
Qujing Normal University
Ariyawansa, Kahandawa G. S. U.
University of Colombo
Jayalal, Udeni
Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka
Suwannarach, Nakarin
Chiang Mai University
Tedersoo, Leho
King Saud University
Tedersoo, Leho
University of Tartu

UKÄ Subject classification

Biological Systematics

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