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Fungal Systematics: Current Technologies and Techniques for Fungal Identification

September 21, 2017, at 12:00 PM ET


Recent updates in the nomenclature rules for fungi (Melbourne Code, 2012) and improvements in contemporary molecular techniques have significantly affected fungal systematics and has triggered numerous taxonomic revisions among yeasts and fungi species in recent years. To deliver accurate and up-to-date information to our customers, we diligently characterize ATCC mycology products not only through rigorous quality control procedures, but also by various research projects. In this webinar, we will discuss how to identify fungi effectively and accurately under the current nomenclatural system by introducing a few recent studies on medically and industrially relevant yeasts and fungi.

Key Points

  • The new ‘One fungus, One name’ rule has significantly affected fungal systematics
  • The quality control procedures used to evaluate and characterize ATCC mycology products meet the high standard of industrial demands
  • Recent studies support MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry as a powerful rapid identification tool for yeasts and fungi


Sung-Oui Suh, headshot.

Sung-Oui Suh, PhD

Scientist, ATCC

Sung-Oui Suh, Ph.D., is a scientist at ATCC. He has over 25 years of training in the fields of mycology and molecular ecology, with extensive experience in studies on microorganisms in various environments, such as those associated with insects, plants, humans, and animals. His current research focuses on developing rapid identification tools for medically and industrially relevant yeasts and fungi.

Questions and Answers

For your MALDI-TOF studies, you stated that you have developed customized reference spectra for some medically important fungal species. Are the reference spectra commercially available?

No, not at this point. Currently, we use the customized spectra profiles only for internal use. However, since those studies have been already published or will be published soon, you may find the information you need from the papers, such as which reference strains should be used for the species, or how to prepare MALDI-TOF samples for those fungi and yeasts.

If the identification results for a fungus are not congruent by different methods, what should I do? Which result should I trust?

There are many conventional ID systems commercially available, but those systems do not cover all fungal species. In cases where the ID results are uncertain or are not congruent with the data from other methods, we suggest sequencing some DNA barcode genes, such as the ITS region. By comparing ITS sequences with type strains and other reference strains, you may get a more accurate species identification for most of the fungi.

What should I do if I have a question on ATCC mycology items?

For questions regarding ATCC mycology products, please contact our customer care support team.