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K-State Today

April 6, 2023

Andrew Wilson to present Division of Biology Seminar

Submitted by Division of Biology

Andrew Wilson, associate curator of mycology at the Denver Botanic Gardens, will present his research titled "How Many Millions? The Existential Problem of Documenting Fungal Diversity" as part of the Division of Biology Seminar Series at 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 10, in 221 Ackert Hall.

Depending on your reference, it is predicted that there are 1.5 to 5.1 million species of fungi on the planet. The development of environmental metabarcoding has only served to validate these predictions leaving us with the problem: How do we describe all this diversity? Despite representing only about one-third of the fungal kingdom, the macrofungi remain the most accessible group for mycological research and public outreach due to their production of collectable and identifiable sporocarps — mushrooms, puffballs, corals, etc. As a result, Wilson's research leverages opportunities to document mushroom diversity and distribution. This is done through DNA barcoding of fungal collections, and metabarcoding of fungi in soils. Understanding the what, when and where of fungal occurrence provides a foundation for understanding their contributions to ecosystem resilience in a changing climate.

If you would like to visit with Wilson, please contact Ari Jumpponen at ari@k-state.edu