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  • Looking in the Cupboard. Hidden Diversity of Microfungi in Australia

Looking in the Cupboard. Hidden Diversity of Microfungi in Australia

Presented by Dr Yu Pei Tan, Centre for Crop Health

Date: 09 October 2020
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Venue: P20 or online
Contact: For more information, please contact Juanita Ryan.
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Australia’s history of biological collection began when Joseph Banks visited Australia as part of Captain Cook’s expedition in 1770. Following Banks, Australia’s scientists and natural historians built the foundations of Australia’s collections of algae, fish, insects, plants, mammals, birds, fungi, and microorganisms. The Queensland Plant Pathology Herbarium (BRIP) was established at the Federation of Australia (1901). Its unique collection of Queensland microfungi dates back to the 1850s. The specimens in BRIP include microfungi that cause or are associated with diseases on plants or on insects, and from the environment (e.g. air, soil, phylloplane). Specimens collected in the past were identified based on morphology and/or the identity of the host (plant/insect). Using DNA sequence-based methods to examine the specimens kept in the “cupboard” of BRIP has uncovered a hidden diversity of undescribed species. The discovery of cryptic species and species complexes has implications for Australia’s biodiversity and biosecurity.