BARCODING CAN PROMOTE MYCOLOGY IN AFRICA Marieka Gryzenhout
Mycology in Africa <ul><li>Unique biomes and wildlife </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Countless UNESCO world heritage sites </li></u...
Mycology in Africa <ul><li>Millions of species of fungi estimated to exist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Metagenetics reveal even ...
Why is it important to look at the fungi? <ul><li>Incredibly numerous </li></ul><ul><li>Foundation of any ecosystem </li><...
Ecological threats to fungi in Africa (Gryzenhout et al., 2010; Ngala & Gryzenhout , 2010; Nourou, 2011) <ul><li>Diversity...
Practical threats to fungi in Africa <ul><li>Threat to indigenous knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Perceptions and mycophobia <...
Practical threats to fungi in Africa <ul><li>Legislation and permitting, often coupled with corruption </li></ul><ul><li>S...
Needs and resources <ul><li>Financial </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Guidance and support </li></ul><u...
Capacity Mycology in Africa: what is needed <ul><li>Collection trips </li></ul>
<ul><li>Processing, preserving and identification </li></ul>Capacity Mycology in Africa: what is needed
But what is unique, what is exciting <ul><li>Clean slate </li></ul><ul><li>Untapped and unique  </li></ul><ul><li>biodiver...
Creating awareness  <ul><li>Ethnomycology </li></ul><ul><li>SaFungi ( www.SaFungi.org ) – amateur mycology </li></ul><ul><...
The possible way forward <ul><li>How can we deal with so many fungi, so few mycologists, so many pressures and so few reso...
A common goal to enthuse and unite <ul><li>Explore and document biodiversity in a systematic, targeted way </li></ul><ul><...
How BARCODE OF LIFE can help <ul><li>Pipelines </li></ul><ul><li>Data management </li></ul><ul><li>Identification of gaps ...
<ul><li>For a group of fungi that are poorly described in a continent with a large proportion of undiscovered fungi, barco...
<ul><li>Series of  carefully planned surveys  needed to build library systematically </li></ul><ul><li>Building of a datab...
Acknowledgements Dr Joyce Jefwa, Kenya (Kenya) http://www.toyotaoutreach.com/
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Marieka Gryzenhout - Algae, Protists & Fungi Plenary

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Marieka Gryzenhout - Algae, Protists & Fungi Plenary

  1. 1. BARCODING CAN PROMOTE MYCOLOGY IN AFRICA Marieka Gryzenhout
  2. 2. Mycology in Africa <ul><li>Unique biomes and wildlife </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Countless UNESCO world heritage sites </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Incredibly diverse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8 biodiversity hotspots </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mostly third world with large and growing human populations that threatens and puts great strain on the environment </li></ul><ul><li>Crops are threatened by plant pathogens, and humans and live stocks by several microbes </li></ul>St Lucia World Heritage Site, South Africa (Gryzenhout, Roets & De Villiers, 2010)
  3. 3. Mycology in Africa <ul><li>Millions of species of fungi estimated to exist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Metagenetics reveal even more </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How many occur in Africa? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proper inventories and checklists are not existing, although some countries have some information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In South Africa alone, a survey based on the number of plants, with a certain number of fungi assigned to each species, estimated c. 200 000 species in South Africa alone (Crous et al. 2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Only 4% has names (Crous et al. 2006) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Who is working with them? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Very few mycologists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In South Africa c. 20 mycologists who like systematics but mostly have other responsibilities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>FUNGAL DIVERSITY IN AFRICA VASTLY UNDERSTUDIED AND LIMITED CAPACITY EXISTS </li></ul>(Abdel-Azeem, 2010; Gryzenhout et al., 2010; Ngala & Gryzenhout, 2010)
  4. 4. Why is it important to look at the fungi? <ul><li>Incredibly numerous </li></ul><ul><li>Foundation of any ecosystem </li></ul><ul><li>Contributes to health of plants and animals </li></ul><ul><li>Symbionts and other close assocations </li></ul><ul><li>Impact hugely on the lives of humans (plant pathogens, human pathogens, animal pathogens, mycotoxins, food spoilage, industrial aplications, industrial and commercial problems, useful by-products…) </li></ul><ul><li>Could be useful ecological indicators </li></ul><ul><li>They are endangered too and deserve protection, yet underrepresented in the larger biological community and government circles </li></ul>Minter (2010)
  5. 5. Ecological threats to fungi in Africa (Gryzenhout et al., 2010; Ngala & Gryzenhout , 2010; Nourou, 2011) <ul><li>Diversity and functionality understudied, impact of human activities unknown and need of conservation ignored </li></ul><ul><li>Encroachment, fragmentation, poor land management, alteration, degradation and transformation – fungi not included </li></ul><ul><li>Invasive microbes </li></ul><ul><li>Indiscriminate spraying of especially non-selective fungicides by farmers, especially subsistence farmers </li></ul><ul><li>Illegal trading and overharvesting of edible mushrooms ( Terfezia, Cantharellus and Boletus ) </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of habitat due to deforestation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Especially slash and burn for agricultural land, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of trees for firewood and charcoal, timber, tourist ornaments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overgrazing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medicinal plant collection practices (role of pathogens) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reforestation with exotic tree species </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Climate change </li></ul>
  6. 6. Practical threats to fungi in Africa <ul><li>Threat to indigenous knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Perceptions and mycophobia </li></ul><ul><li>Poverty </li></ul><ul><li>Land use issues </li></ul><ul><li>More scientific input by mycologists in political issues </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of interest and ignorance in government, conservation and public circles </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of collaborations and little communication of work to others </li></ul><ul><li>Political changes and inner politics of the scientific community </li></ul>(Gryzenhout et al., 2010; Ngala & Gryzenhout , 2010; Nourou, 2011)
  7. 7. Practical threats to fungi in Africa <ul><li>Legislation and permitting, often coupled with corruption </li></ul><ul><li>Still compiling basic checklists of fungi and have huge numbers of undescribed species – lack of capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Funding for collections and herbaria </li></ul><ul><li>Funding from government for private collections lacking </li></ul><ul><li>Funding for basic mycology scarce </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure, centres of excellence and training lacking </li></ul><ul><li>Brain drain </li></ul>(Gryzenhout et al., 2010; Ngala & Gryzenhout , 2010; Nourou, 2011; MycoAfrica 2010, 2011)
  8. 8. Needs and resources <ul><li>Financial </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Guidance and support </li></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li>Assistance with identification </li></ul><ul><li>Better sampling, encompassing checklists </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Filling the fungal gaps </li></ul><ul><li>Engagement and meeting others </li></ul>
  9. 9. Capacity Mycology in Africa: what is needed <ul><li>Collection trips </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Processing, preserving and identification </li></ul>Capacity Mycology in Africa: what is needed
  11. 11. But what is unique, what is exciting <ul><li>Clean slate </li></ul><ul><li>Untapped and unique </li></ul><ul><li>biodiversity to be explored </li></ul><ul><li>Untapped and unique applications, various technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Unique indigenous knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Incredibly talented, diverse and passionate people doing much with little, often at an international level </li></ul><ul><li>Global connections and assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Emerging good will in country </li></ul><ul><li>constitutions towards biological research </li></ul><ul><li>Fungal conservation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No fungi are on red lists of any country </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Creating awareness <ul><li>Ethnomycology </li></ul><ul><li>SaFungi ( www.SaFungi.org ) – amateur mycology </li></ul><ul><li>African Mycological Association ( www.africanmycology.org ) – professional and amateur </li></ul><ul><li>African Workgroup for Fungal Conservation, affiliated to International Society for </li></ul><ul><li>Fungal Conservation </li></ul><ul><li>And other initiatives </li></ul>
  13. 13. The possible way forward <ul><li>How can we deal with so many fungi, so few mycologists, so many pressures and so few resources? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we get message across to government, conservationists, biodiversity officials and the public that we need to work with these fungi? </li></ul><ul><li>How to promote sustainable projects and stimulate mycological research? </li></ul>
  14. 14. A common goal to enthuse and unite <ul><li>Explore and document biodiversity in a systematic, targeted way </li></ul><ul><li>High quality data </li></ul><ul><li>Boost collections and checklists </li></ul><ul><li>Explore potential uses of fungi </li></ul><ul><li>Applications in fields impacting on humans, i.e. plant pathology, mycotoxins, industrial mycology </li></ul><ul><li>New technologies to do large scale ecological studies using metagenetics </li></ul>Establishing networks or consortia and producing focused research
  15. 15. How BARCODE OF LIFE can help <ul><li>Pipelines </li></ul><ul><li>Data management </li></ul><ul><li>Identification of gaps </li></ul><ul><li>Assistance, training and expertise, including understanding of legislature </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure and capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Networks, aids collaboration, assist meetings, recruits people, especially on an international level </li></ul><ul><li>Outreach, raising awareness and dissemination </li></ul><ul><li>New technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Quality control </li></ul><ul><li>Leverage and assistance with fund raising </li></ul>Pyrosequence data of endophytes.
  16. 16. <ul><li>For a group of fungi that are poorly described in a continent with a large proportion of undiscovered fungi, barcoding has some challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First level: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Most are new species </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assistance is needed even with known species </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Difficulty when blasting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second level: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Deciding on species limits, % similarity cut-offs and meaning of snp’s </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple genes and phylogenetic analyses necessary for proper identification of known groups </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Taxonomic descriptions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Standardized pipeline and coordination necessary </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Solid, high quality foundation necessary is thus needed </li></ul></ul></ul>Challenges
  17. 17. <ul><li>Series of carefully planned surveys needed to build library systematically </li></ul><ul><li>Building of a database or library enriched with taxonomic studies will be very useful to aid in identification based on barcoding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enables local sequence searches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Future collections may expand species with few isolates or singleton or doubleton species, and more species will improve resolution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vouchers exists and quality control </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use of environmental barcoding to make meaningful impact to study large numbers and diversity of fungi in Africa </li></ul>Challenges
  18. 18. Acknowledgements Dr Joyce Jefwa, Kenya (Kenya) http://www.toyotaoutreach.com/

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