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Species concept of Glomeromycota

Species are ultimately a human construct, and for many uses our working definitions are sufficient and provide a common metric for comparison.  However, unlike other taxonomic categories species ideally define the level at which genetic exchange is common. When species concepts approach this ideal they become appropriate categories for better understanding basic biology and population genetics, and they improve the validity of comparisons across groups.

Species in the Glomeromycotina have traditionally been assumed to be clonal and have been defined by spore morphology and rDNA sequences.  Recent genomic data, however, has shown that Glomeromycotina have intact mating loci, tracts of recombination, and high variability.  These results challenge the idea they are asexual, and open up new avenues for species recognition.

The goals of this workshop are:

  1. to bring together a broad audience interested in understanding species within arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF)
  2. to clarify what the current species concept in AMF represents and to identify its appropriate uses and limitations
  3. to discuss ways that we can develop a species concept that recognized units of genetic exchange

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