Rolf Henrik Nilsson

Rolf Henrik Nilsson
University of Gothenburg | GU · Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences

Ph.D.

About

263
Publications
296,059
Reads
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26,499
Citations
Introduction
* Molecular identification of fungi * The UNITE database (http://unite.ut.ee) * Sequence bioinformatics * Next-generation sequencing * Taxonomy in the digital age
Additional affiliations
January 2005 - December 2011
University of Tartu
January 2003 - December 2012
Göteborgs Universitet
Education
January 2002 - June 2007
University of Gothenburg
Field of study
  • Systematic Biology

Publications

Publications (263)
Article
Full-text available
The nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region is the formal fungal barcode and in most cases the marker of choice for exploration of fungal diversity in environmental samples. Two problems are particularly acute in the pursuit of satisfactory taxonomic assignment of newly generated ITS sequences: (i) the lack of an inclusive, relia...
Article
Full-text available
The nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region is the primary choice for molecular identification of fungi. Its two highly variable spacers (ITS1 and ITS2) are usually species specific, whereas the intercalary 5.8S gene is highly conserved. For sequence clustering and blast searches, it is often advantageous to rely on either one of...
Article
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Novel high-throughput sequencing methods outperform earlier approaches in terms of resolution and magnitude. They enable identification and relative quantification of community members and offer new insights into fungal community ecology. These methods are currently taking over as the primary tool to assess fungal communities of plant-associated en...
Article
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Molecular data form an important research tool in most branches of mycology. A non-trivial proportion of the public fungal DNA sequences are, however, compromised in terms of quality and reliability, contributing noise and bias to sequence-borne inferences such as phylogenetic analysis, diversity assessment, and barcoding. In this paper we discuss...
Article
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The last twenty years have witnessed molecular data emerge as a primary research instrument in most branches of mycology. Fungal systematics, taxonomy, and ecology have all seen tremendous progress and have undergone rapid, far-reaching changes as disciplines in the wake of continual improvement in DNA sequencing technology. A taxonomic study that...
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DNA sequencing efforts of environmental and other biological samples disclose unprecedented and largely untapped opportunities for advances in the taxonomy, ecology, and geographical distributions of our living world. To realise this potential, DNA-derived occurrence data (notably sequences with dates and coordinates)-much like traditional specimen...
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Non-coding RNA (ncRNA) genes play important, but incompletely understood, roles in various cellular processes, notably translation and gene regulation. A recent report on the detection of the ncRNA Signal Recognition Particle gene in the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region of several species of three genera of ectomycorrhizal basid...
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Temperatures over the Arctic region are increasing at three times the rate of the global average. Consequently, Arctic vegetation is changing and trees are encroaching into the tundra. In this study, we examine the establishment and growth of mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. tortuosa), which forms the treeline in subarctic Europe, and its impa...
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Species have intrinsic value but also partake in a long range of ecosystem services of major economic value to humans. These values have proved hard to quantify precisely, making it all too easy to dismiss them altogether. We outline the concept of the species stock market (SSM), a system to provide a unified basis for valuation of all living speci...
Preprint
Full-text available
Species have intrinsic value but also partake in a long range of ecosystem services of major economic value to humans. These values have proved hard to quantify precisely, making it all too easy to dismiss them altogether. We outline the concept of the species stock market (SSM), a system to provide a unified basis for valuation of all living speci...
Article
The accuracy and precision of fungal molecular identification and classification are challenging, particularly in environmental metabarcoding approaches as these often trade accuracy for efficiency given the large data volumes at hand. In most ecological studies, only a single similarity cut‐off value is used for sequence identification. This is no...
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The global diversity of fungi has been estimated using several different approaches. There is somewhere between 2–11 million estimated species, but the number of formally described taxa is around 150,000, a tiny fraction of the total. In this paper, we examine 12 ascomycete genera as case studies to establish trends in fungal species descriptions,...
Article
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The development of high‐throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies has greatly improved our capacity to identify fungi and unveil their ecological roles across a variety of ecosystems. Here we provide an overview of current best practices in metabarcoding analysis of fungal communities, from experimental design through molecular and computational ana...
Preprint
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Fungi play pivotal roles in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about their global patterns of diversity, endemicity, vulnerability to global change drivers and conservation priority areas. We applied the high-resolution PacBio sequencing technique to identify fungi based on a long DNA marker that revealed a high proportion of hitherto unkno...
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The international DNA sequence databases abound in fungal sequences not annotated beyond the kingdom level, typically bearing names such as "uncultured fungus". These sequences beget low-resolution mycological results and invite further deposition of similarly poorly annotated entries. What do these sequences represent? This study uses a 767,918-se...
Preprint
The accuracy and precision of fungal molecular identification and classification are challenging, particularly in environmental metabarcoding approaches as these often trade accuracy for efficiency given the large data volumes at hand. In most ecological studies, only a single similarity cut-off value is used for sequence identification. This is no...
Article
Full-text available
Amazonia encompasses extensive forests in areas that are periodically inundated by overflowing rivers. The inundation depth and duration vary according to the slope of the terrain and distance to major water bodies. This creates a flooding gradient from the lowest lying seasonally flooded forest up into the unflooded forest, which directly affects...
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Fungi are highly important biotic components of terrestrial ecosystems, but we still have a very limited understanding about their diversity and distribution. This data article releases a global soil fungal dataset of the Global Soil Mycobiome consortium (GSMc) to boost further research in fungal diversity, biogeography and macroecology. The datase...
Preprint
Full-text available
The development of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies has greatly improved our capacity to identify fungi and unveil their ecological roles across a variety of ecosystems. Here we provide an overview about current best practices in metabarcoding analysis of fungal communities, from experimental design through molecular and computational...
Article
Full-text available
Species may co-occur due to responses to similar environmental conditions, biological associations, or simply because of coincident geographical distributions. Disentangling patterns of co-occurrence and potential biotic and abiotic interactions is crucial to understand ecosystem function. Here, we used DNA metabarcoding data from litter and minera...
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Corticiaceae is one of the traditional families of the Agaricomycetes and served for a long time as a convenient placement for basidiomycetes with a resupinate, corticioid form of fruiting body. Molecular studies have helped to assign many corticioid fungi to diverse families and orders; however, Corticiaceae still lacks a phylogenetic characteriza...
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Recent publications have argued that there are potentially serious consequences for researchers in recognising distinct genera in the terminal fusarioid clade of the family Nectriaceae. Thus, an alternate hypothesis, namely a very broad concept of the genus Fusarium was proposed. In doing so, however, a significant body of data that supports distin...
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Global warming leads to drastic changes in the diversity and structure of Arctic plant communities. Studies of functional diversity within the Arctic tundra biome have improved our understanding of plant responses to warming. However, these studies still show substantial unexplained variation in diversity responses. Complementary to functional dive...
Preprint
Full-text available
Amazonia encompasses forests that grow in areas that are periodically inundated by overflowing rivers. The inundation depth and duration vary according to the slope of the terrain, creating a flooding gradient. This gradient directly affects the biota, but the effect on soil organisms remains elusive. Here, we use DNA metabarcoding to estimate prok...
Article
The identification and proper naming of microfungi, in particular plant, animal and human pathogens, remains challenging. Molecular identification is becoming the default approach for many fungal groups, and environmental metabarcoding is contributing an increasing amount of sequence data documenting fungal diversity on a global scale. This include...
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There were errors in the name of author László G. Nagy and in affiliation no. 31 in the original publication. The original article has been corrected.
Preprint
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Species may co-occur due to responses to similar environmental conditions, biological associations, or simply because of coincident geographical distributions. Disentangling patterns of co-occurrence and potential biotic and abiotic interactions is crucial to understand ecosystem function. Here we used DNA metabarcoding data from litter and mineral...
Article
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Here, we describe the taxon hypothesis (TH) paradigm, which covers the construction, identification, and communication of taxa as datasets. Defining taxa as datasets of individuals and their traits will make taxon identification and most importantly communication of taxa precise and reproducible. This will allow datasets with standardized and atomi...
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The cryptic lifestyle of most fungi necessitates molecular identiication of the guild in environmental studies. Over the past decades, rapid development and afordability of molecular tools have tremendously improved insights of the fungal diversity in all ecosystems and habitats. Yet, in spite of the progress of molecular methods, knowledge about f...
Article
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Most users will foresee the use of genetic sequences in the context of molecular ecology or phylogenetic research, however, a sequence with coordinates and a timestamp is a valuable biodiversity occurrence that is useful in a much broader context than its original purpose. To uncover this potential, sequence-derived data need to become findable, ac...
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Taxonomic mycology struggles with what seems to be a perpetual shortage of resources. Logically, fungal taxonomists should therefore leverage every opportunity to highlight and visualize the importance of taxonomic work, the usefulness of taxonomic data far beyond taxonomy, and the integrative and collabo-rative nature of modern taxonomy at large....
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Significant effort is spent on monitoring of benthic ecosystems through government funding or indirectly as a cost of business, and metabarcoding of environmental DNA samples has been suggested as a possible complement or alternative to current morphological methods to assess biodiversity. In metabarcoding, a public sequence database is typically u...
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Fungi are a key component of tropical biodiversity. However, due to their inconspicuous and largely subterranean nature, they are usually neglected in biodiversity inventories. The goal of this study was to identify the key determinants of fungal richness, community composition, and turnover in tropical rainforests. We tested specifically for the e...
Article
Aquatic fungi are a largely unexplored group of organisms with a still unknown diversity of ecological niches. Groundwater biomes comprise vast but poorly explored habitats. In this study, we sampled the Icelandic groundwater, a unique system that has been separated and isolated into distinct basins for millions of years due to volcanic activity. T...
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Most knowledge on biodiversity derives from the study of charismatic macro-organisms, such as birds and trees. However, the diversity of micro-organisms constitutes the majority of all life forms on Earth. Here, we ask if the patterns of richness inferred for macro-organisms are similar for micro-organisms. For this, we barcoded samples of soil, li...
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The Basidiomycota constitutes a major phylum of the kingdom Fungi and is second in species numbers to the Ascomycota. The present work provides an overview of all validly published, currently used basidiomycete genera to date in a single document. An outline of all genera of Basidiomycota is provided, which includes 1928 currently used genera names...
Article
Fungi play many essential roles in ecosystems. They facilitate plant access to nutrients and water, serve as decay agents that cycle carbon and nutrients through the soil, water and atmosphere, and are major regulators of macro‐organismal populations. Although technological advances are improving the detection and identification of fungi, there sti...
Article
Full-text available
Document recommendation systems for locating relevant literature have mostly relied on methods developed a decade ago. This is largely due to the lack of a large offline gold-standard benchmark of relevant documents that cover a variety of research fields such that newly developed literature search techniques can be compared, improved and translate...
Article
Document recommendation systems for locating relevant literature have mostly relied on methods developed a decade ago. This is largely due to the lack of a large offline gold-standard benchmark of relevant documents that cover a variety of research fields such that newly developed literature search techniques can be compared, improved and translate...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Fungi are heterotrophic, unicellular or filamentous organisms that exhibit a wide range of different lifestyles as, e.g., symbionts, parasites, and saprotrophs. Mycologists have traditionally considered fungi to be a nearly exclusively terrestrial group of organisms, but it is now known that fungi have a significant presence in aquatic...
Preprint
Full-text available
Fungi play many essential roles in ecosystems. They facilitate plant access to nutrients and water, serve as decay agents that cycle carbon and nutrients through the soil, water and atmosphere, and are major regulators of macro-organismal populations. Although technological advances are improving the detection and identification of fungi, there sti...
Article
Full-text available
UNITE (https://unite.ut.ee; Nilsson et al. 2018) is an international community of scientists and citizen scientists established in 2001. The ambition of UNITE is to develop: 1) datasets and tools for robust and reproducible molecular identification; 2) Persistent Identifiers based system for the communicating fungal species. Datasets of the nuclear...
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P.tristis is an ectomycorrhizal, corticioid fungus whose name is frequently assigned to collections of basidiomata as well as root tip and soil samples from a wide range of habitats and hosts across the northern hemisphere. Despite this, its identity is unclear; eight heterotypic taxa have in major reviews of the species been considered synonymous...
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The rapid loss of biodiversity, coupled with difficulties in species identification, call for innovative approaches to assess biodiversity. Insects make up a substantial proportion of extant diversity and play fundamental roles in any given ecosystem. To complement morphological species identification, new techniques such as metabarcoding make it p...
Article
Full-text available
UNITE (https://unite.ut.ee/) is a web-based database and sequence management environment for the molecular identification of fungi. It targets the formal fungal barcode-the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region-and offers all ∼1 000 000 public fungal ITS sequences for reference. These are clustered into ∼459 000 species hypothe...
Article
Fungi are major ecological players in both terrestrial and aquatic environments by cycling organic matter and channelling nutrients across trophic levels. High-throughput sequencing (HTS) studies of fungal communities are redrawing the map of the fungal kingdom by hinting at its enormous — and largely uncharted — taxonomic and functional diversity....