Progress

Stora Sjöfallet. Photo: S.Anslan

Work performed by participants

University of Tartu: sampling in Northern and Central Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Latvia; running analyses of HTS 454 and Illumina MiSeq technologies; updating the UNITE database and leading generation of the fungal global identifier.

University of Oslo: field work in Svalbard, Jan Mayen, Northern Norway; HTS analyses using various platforms on mock communities and soil and root samples; Sanger sequencing of the greatest proportion of reference fruit-bodies; bioinformatics meta-analyses of existing data

University Centre in Svalbard: Sampling of soils, roots and fruit-bodies in Svalbard, running fungal ecological studies in Svalbard and Northern Norway.

PhD student Sunil Mundra visited University of Tartu for 6 weeks. The main purpose was to learn methods of statistical analysis to address temporal and spatial autocorrelation and to acquire new tips for preparing a manuscript. He brought and shared skills of bioinformatics analysis and HTS analysis to leading partners of University of Tartu. PhD student Eveli Otsing visiting the University of Oslo for six week. She performed data-mining analyses on existing data and participated in the planning of the mock community analyses.

Activities of PostDocs, PhD and Master students involved in the project

Mohammad Bahram (University of Tartu, PostDoc) - joined the project in February 2014. He has performed some of the highly specific statistical analyses and provided expertise in field work

Petr Kohout (University of Tartu, PhD student) – studies on root-associated fungi, especially Ericoid mycorrhizal symbionts on a global scale. Submission of a manuscript expected in early 2016

Marko Peterson (University of Tartu, PhD student) – strong involvement in development of the database and work-bench module of the UNITE database and global identifier.

Sten Anslan (University of Tartu, PhD student) – Has submitted a publication on barcoding of springtails in Nordic countries. Currently he studies the fungal diet of these collembolans in the boreal and arctic ecosystems.

Indrek Hiiesalu (University of Tartu, PhD student) – Has been directly involved in the climate change project. He has sampled >1000 soil cores from Northern and Central Sweden and he will continue triple the sampling effort in Central Urals and in Elbrus in summer 2015.

Maireet Müür (University of Tartu, MSc student) – generated a large database of ectomycorrhizal fungi from relict populations of Bistorta vivipara in Estonia and Central Sweden. She did not continue her studies in the PhD program. The data will be used as part of a larger project on Bistorta vivipara fungi biogeography led by group at University of Oslo.

Helery Harend (University of Tartu, MSc student) – preparing her MSc study about unipartite fungal networks. She participated in collection of soil samples from Northern Sweden.

Eveli Otsing (University of Tartu, PhD student) – joined the project instead of Maireet Müür from 01.09.2014. She focuses on the biogeography of truffles in Europe, including arctic habitats.

Unni Vik (University of Oslo, PostDoc) - has done bioinformatics analyses of HTS data obtained from the North Atlantic region.

Synnøve Botnen (University of Oslo, PhD student) – participated in field work at Svalbard and northern Norway, here collecting fungi and plant material. Has done bioinformatics analyses of HTS data obtained from the North Atlantic region.

Anders Aas (University of Oslo, PhD student) – is the main responsible for setting up the mock community analyses.

Kelsey Lorberau (University of Oslo/University Centre in Svalbard, MSc student) - participated in field work at Svalbard and northern Norway. Is currently analysing by high throughput sequencing the fungal communities associated with the plant Cassiope tetragona.

Sunil Mundra (University of Oslo/University Centre in Svalbard, PhD student) – has performed large-scale field work in Svalbard and run bioinformatics analyses. Has published one paper and has several in preparation.

PhD student visits

Sunil Mundra: 01.November 2014- 15 December 2014. The main purpose was to learn methods of statistical analysis to address temporal and spatial autocorrelation and to acquire new tips for preparing a manuscript. He brought and shared skills of bioinformatics analysis and HTS analysis to leading partners of University of Tartu.

Eveli Otsing: 01 November – 15 December 2014. She learned about bioinformatics tools and phylogenetics data analysis from experts in Norway that greatly benefited her knowledge.