Research Coordination Networks: a phylogeny for kingdom Fungi (Deep Hypha)

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Research in fungal phylogenetics and systematics progressed rapidly in the past decade due to advances in DNA sequencing technologies and analytical methods. A newfound wealth of sequence data acquired through community-wide initiatives has advanced the process of acquiring a stable phylogenetic classification of many fungal taxa. Financial support from the National Science Foundation Research Coordination Networks: a phylogeny for kingdom Fungi (Deep Hypha) for 5 y enabled more than 100 fungal systematists to assess the taxon sampling, molecular markers and analytical methods necessary to facilitate such a project. Later a second NSF program provided financial support for the Assembling the Fungal Tree of Life (AFTOL) project to accomplish much of the research. Deep Hypha may be viewed as an involved parent of AFTOL with a continuing role as coordinator of likeminded workers. Many questions posed at the beginning of the Deep Hypha project have been addressed, at least in part, although some details remain to be clarified. Many of the main branches of the fungal tree are stable and well supported, often as a result of multigene analyses that involved collaboration of many laboratories. More work is necessary, however, to resolve certain branching events near the base of the tree, as well as to reconstruct relationships in some terminal groups. The phylogenetic classification in this issue of Mycologia is a product of the AFTOL project and many other independent research initiatives, and it is an initial synthesis of a working classification designed to be used for all major publications that require a phylogenetic classification of fungi.

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