Research and teaching with the AFTOL SBD: an informatics resource for fungal subcellular and biochemical data

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The Structural and Biochemical Database (SBD), developed as part of the US NSF-funded Assembling the Fungal Tree of Life (AFTOL), is a multi-investigator project. It is a major resource to present and manage morphological and biochemical information on Fungi and serves as a phyloinformatics tool for the scientific community. It also is an important resource for teaching mycology. The database, available at http://aftol.umn.edu, includes new and previously published subcellular data on Fungi, supplemented with images and literature links. Datasets automatically combined in NEXUS format from the site permit independent and combined (with molecular data) phylogenetic analyses. Character lists, a major feature of the site, serve as primary reference documents of subcellular and biochemical characters that distinguish taxa across the major fungal lineages. The character lists illustrated with images and drawings are informative for evolutionary and developmental biologists as well as educators, students and the public. Fungal Subcellular Ontology (FSO), developed as part of this effort is a primary initiative to provide a controlled vocabulary describing subcellular structures unique to Fungi. FSO establishes a full complement of terms that provide an operating ontological framework for the database. Examples are provided for using the database for teaching.

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IMA fungus

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