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    UNITE: a database providing web-based methods for the molecular identification of ectomycorrhizal fungi

    Kõljalg, Urmas, Larsson, Karl-Henrik, Abarenkov, Kessy, Nilsson, R. Henrik, Alexander, Ian J., Eberhardt, Ursula, Erland, Susanne, Høiland, Klaus, Kjøller, Rasmus, Larsson, Ellen, Pennanen, Taina, Sen, Robin, Taylor, Andy F. S., Tedersoo, Leho, Vrålstad, Trude and Ursing, Björn M. (2005) UNITE: a database providing web-based methods for the molecular identification of ectomycorrhizal fungi. New phytologist, 166 (3). pp. 1063-1068. ISSN 1469-8137

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    Identification of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi is often achieved through comparisons of ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences with accessioned sequences deposited in public databases. A major problem encountered is that annotation of the sequences in these databases is not always complete or trustworthy. In order to overcome this deficiency, we report on UNITE, an open-access database. • UNITE comprises well annotated fungal ITS sequences from well defined herbarium specimens that include full herbarium reference identification data, collector/source and ecological data. At present UNITE contains 758 ITS sequences from 455 species and 67 genera of ECM fungi. • UNITE can be searched by taxon name, via sequence similarity using blastn, and via phylogenetic sequence identification using galaxie. Following implementation, galaxie performs a phylogenetic analysis of the query sequence after alignment either to pre-existing generic alignments, or to matches retrieved from a blast search on the UNITE data. It should be noted that the current version of UNITE is dedicated to the reliable identification of ECM fungi. • The UNITE database is accessible through the URL http://unite.zbi.ee

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