A call to characterize functional mycobiome responses to experimental climate change
Keywords:climate change, fungi, genomics, global change, metagenomics
The impacts of climate change are increasingly threatening terrestrial ecosystems. Understanding how this will influence fungal communities (i.e. the mycobiome) is one of the most consequential domains of climate change research because fungal functions, like decomposition and mycorrhizal symbiosis, feedback to influence climate change. Efforts to study fungal functioning have been stymied by technological limitations and the complexity of fungal biology compared to prokaryotes, but recent molecular advances now enable us to study their functional responses to climate change in greater detail. Here, we announce an open invitation for collaboration with researchers across the globe studying terrestrial ecosystem responses to climate change. In particular, we invite submissions of soil or DNA extracts isolated from climate change field experiments for detailed characterization of fungal community structure using full-length ITS DNA metabarcoding and a novel probe capture and enrichment next generation sequencing technique to quantify fungal functional genes involved in oxidative and hydrolytic enzyme biosynthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, organic and inorganic nitrogen cycling, phosphorus acquisition, stress tolerance, and mycorrhizal symbiosis. By contributing samples, supporting analyses, and helping to draft manuscripts, co-authorship will be offered to all collaborators. We will also freely provide the unique datasets we generate from samples collected at your experiment for downstream analyses. We hope that by crowd-sourcing collaborations, we will be able to establish consistent ecological principles for how fungi respond to climate change, enabling us to more accurately forecast the impacts of future global changes on ecosystem function.
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