Long stalks of Thysanophora penicillioides, a microfungus that grows on fallen hemlock needles. Photo courtesy of: Kathie T. Hodge
The Microfungi Collections Consortium TCN is continuing to receive support in its quest to digitize microscopic fungi collections. NSF has granted $2.6 million to the project, a collaborative effort involving 38 institutions in 31 states. The project aims to consolidate data from specimens housed in biodiversity collections for 2.3 million microfungi specimens and make these data available through online resources.
“The beauty of this project is we are unlocking big data of where fungi occur in the world, and when,” said Kathie Hodge, director of the Cornell Plant Pathology Herbarium and associate professor of mycology. “All of this information locked up in cabinets will now be searchable across a database. If we are looking for what mushrooms grow in Ithaca in June, we can search that,” Hodge said.