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New plectosphaerellaceous species from Dutch garden soil by Webmaster News 2019-10-02 15:29:59
 

Brent Verschoor, Emma Rietvelt, Hanne de Levita, Mohamed Bidari and Ouail Zaim: their names are immortalised by a citizen science project and a resulting new publication of Alejandra Giraldo, Margarita Hernández-Restrepo and Pedro W. Crous:'New plectosphaerellaceous species from Dutch garden soil'. During 2017, the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute (WI) and the Utrecht University Museum launched a Citizen Science project. Dutch schoolchildren collected soil samples from gardens at different localities in the Netherlands, and submitted them to the WI where they were analysed in order to find new fungal species. 

Around 3000 fungal isolates, including filamentous fungi and yeasts, were cultured, preserved and submitted for DNA sequencing. Through analysis of the ITS and LSU sequences from the obtained isolates, several plectosphaerellaceous fungi were identified for further study. Based on morphological characters and the combined analysis of the ITS and TEF1-α sequences, some isolates were found to represent new species in the genera genus Phialoparvum, i.e. Ph. maaspleinense and Ph. rietveltiae, and Plectosphaerella, i.e. Pl. hanneae and Pl. verschoorii, which are described and illustrated here. Meanwhile the original Citizen Science is going to be upgraded in 2019/2020, with more science and more interaction between the Westerdijk Institute and the classroom.