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Taxonomic annotation of public fungal ITS sequences from the built environment - a report from an April 10-11, 2017 workshop (Aberdeen, UK)

Journal article
Authors R. Henrik Nilsson
A. F. S. Taylor
R. I. Adams
C. Baschien
Johan Bengtsson-Palme
Patrik Cangren
C. Coleine
H. M. Daniel
S. I. Glassman
Y. Hirooka
L. Irinyi
R. Irsenaite
P. M. Martin-Sanchez
W. Meyer
S. Y. Oh
J. P. Sampaio
K. A. Seifert
F. Sklenar
D. Stubbe
S. O. Suh
R. Summerbell
Sten Svantesson
M. Unterseher
C. M. Visagie
M. Weiss
J. H. C. Woudenberg
Christian Wurzbacher
S. Van den Wyngaert
N. Yilmaz
A. Yurkov
U. Koljalg
K. Abarenkov
Published in Mycokeys
Issue 28
Pages 65-82
ISSN 1314-4057
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 65-82
Language en
Keywords Indoor mycobiome, built environment, molecular identification, fungi, taxonomy, systematics, phylogenetic classification, pathogenic fungi, identification, database, aspergillus, Mycology
Subject categories Biological Sciences


Recent DNA-based studies have shown that the built environment is surprisingly rich in fungi. These indoor fungi - whether transient visitors or more persistent residents - may hold clues to the rising levels of human allergies and other medical and building-related health problems observed globally. The taxonomic identity of these fungi is crucial in such pursuits. Molecular identification of the built mycobiome is no trivial undertaking, however, given the large number of unidentified, misidentified, and technically compromised fungal sequences in public sequence databases. In addition, the sequence metadata required to make informed taxonomic decisions - such as country and host/substrate of collection - are often lacking even from reference and ex-type sequences. Here we report on a taxonomic annotation workshop (April 10-11, 2017) organized at the James Hutton Institute/University of Aberdeen (UK) to facilitate reproducible studies of the built mycobiome. The 32 participants went through public fungal ITS bar-code sequences related to the built mycobiome for taxonomic and nomenclatural correctness, technical quality, and metadata availability. A total of 19,508 changes - including 4,783 name changes, 14,121 metadata annotations, and the removal of 99 technically compromised sequences - were implemented in the UNITE database for molecular identification of fungi ( and shared with a range of other databases and downstream resources. Among the genera that saw the largest number of changes were Penicillium, Talaromyces, Cladosporium, Acremonium, and Alternaria, all of them of significant importance in both culture-based and culture-independent surveys of the built environment.

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