Fungal Identification with FunITS

Accurate identification of fungal isolates is critical to environmental monitoring programs. Genotypic methods, such as comparative sequencing of the ribosomal DNA ITS2 region in fungi, have been proven to be the most accurate and reproducible methods for identifying unknown organisms. The technology is inherently stable, which allows for reproducible data for identification.

The identification of fungi, especially filamentous fungi, has historically been a very difficult task. Due to the amount of experience and time required to accurately identify filamentous fungi to the species level, it has been common practice to either identify these organisms to the genus level, or in some cases, simply identify them as “molds.”

Genetic approaches to fungal identification provide a more reliable and rapid method for identification to the species level. FunITS uses the Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS2) region, a commonly sequenced fungal DNA region that is widely accepted as the "gold standard" by fungal taxonomists. Because the ITS region has a higher degree of variation between closely related species than other DNA regions such as D2, "ITS" arguably the best available method for identifying fungal species.

The Charles River genotypic analysis process adheres to the reference method used by taxonomists because it delivers the most accurate and reliable sequence data for identifications. When this process is combined with a full coverage, validated library, the resulting phylogenic analysis is unparalleled in the industry.

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Technical Note

The Utility of ITS2 Sequencing for Identifying Fungal Contaminants