Mid-Atlantic States Mycology Conference (MASMC) 2018

Dear MASMC participants,

Great news! The MASMC foray will be held at the Congaree National Park at Hopkins, SC, near Columbia, on 15 April 2018. We are a very recently approved project registered with the National Park Service (North American Mycoflora: Congaree National Park) and the project is also registered with the Mycoflora Project, and there should be several collecting events after MASMC if anyone is interested. The Congaree Swamp is an absolutely gorgeous bottomland hardwoods forest with a number of trees that were downed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and rotting away nicely for the last 29 years https://www.nps.gov/cong/index.htm. We will follow the Mycoflora Project protocols

<http://mycoflora.org/index.php?option=com_sppagebuilder&view=page&id=16>, and we will have kits to collect material for both BRIT herbarium deposit and DNA sequencing.   Be thinking about how you can help with photography and collection. Remember there is a party Friday evening, great talks and posters on Saturday, and then the foray Sunday morning!  You will get more information and a map later. See you soon!  Meredith

On April 13-15, 2018, Meredith Blackwell will host the 39th annual Middle Atlantic States Mycology Conference (MASMC 2018) at the Saluda Shoals Park Environmental Education Center http://www.icrc.net/saluda-shoals-park located at 6071 St. Andrews Road, Columbia, SC 29212. The 400-acre regional park, located on the banks for the Saluda River, is run by the Irmo–Chapin Recreation Commission. Irmo is a suburb of Columbia, SC. All mycophiles and mycophagists (and family members) are invited to attend. This year’s meeting promises to be special for many reasons, including a keynote address by Dr. William Sheehan of the North American Mycoflora Project.

MASMC first started in 1979 with participating mycology labs from Virginia Tech, University of Maryland, Howard University, and Towson State University.  Each spring, mycologists from the mid-Atlantic region were provided with an opportunity to present their latest research findings, share a meal and memories, participate in a foray, meet new friends, and develop/strengthen scientific collaborations. MASMC provides undergraduate and graduate students and postdocs with a unique opportunity to present their research findings in a less formal venue than at a national or international scientific meeting.

Participants are invited to present an oral or poster presentation on their current research (see abstract submission instructions below). The registration and call for oral and poster presentations opens on February 15, 2018 and continues until the deadline on March 31, 2018. Any questions concerning the conference should be sent to Meredith Blackwell (mblackwell@lsu.edu). We look forward to seeing you in Columbia!

Lodging – A block of rooms has been reserved from April 13-15, 2018 (2 nights) at the Hampton Inn, Columbia I-26/Harbison Blvd. at 101 Woodcross Drive, Columbia, SC 29212 for our conference http://hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/south-carolina/hampton-inn-columbia-i-26-harbison-blvd-CAENWHX/attractions/index.html The group code will be sent to you on February 14 before you register and can be used when making reservations to receive the group rate ($109 plus tax per night or $105 for a state rate, ask about other discounts). The cut-off date for reservations will be March 23, 2018. The rate will still be honored after the cut off data if rooms are still available. Room styles include rooms with two queen beds if you hurry and king suites (one king bed with sofa bed). To make lodging reservations phone 803-749-6999.

Registration – To register for the conference please send the following information for each registrant (name, address, phone number, email address, special diet request, whether you will attend the foray, and amount enclosed) to (mblackwell@lsu.edu) and mail a check made out to “CASH” with the memo indication “MASMC” to Meredith Blackwell at Department of Biological Sciences, 715 Sumter Street, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208. Please DO NOT make the check out to Meredith, but do remember to mail it to her. Receipts will be available at the meeting. The registration fee for students and post-doctoral scientists is $50 and $70, respectively. The fee for alll other registrants is $90. Registration includes waiver of the Saluda Park entrance fee (after we provide you with the magic password), access to the Saturday morning, afternoon, and evening presentations and activities, and foray on Sunday. Food includes break refreshments on Saturday, lunches on Saturday, dinner on Saturday evening and for the Foray on Sunday. You will need to provide your own transportation to the various meeting and foray venues, but we will also facilitate carpooling to these sites. This year we are also providing an option for educators and students who want to attend the foray but not the conference on Saturday to pay a fee of $20 including lunch.

Abstract submission for oral and poster presentations. – If you plan to present an oral or poster presentation at the conference, send an abstract to Meredith Blackwell (mblackwell@lsu.edu) by March 31, 2018 with your preference for an oral or poster presentation.  Oral presentations should be 15 minutes in length (12 minutes with 3 minutes for questions). The recommended poster size is 46 inches wide by 36 inches high.  Posters should not exceed 48 inches wide by 48 inches high. We will notify you by April 6, 2018 on which type of presentation that you have been selected for. The abstract should be developed as a Word document and include the following information; 1) title, 2) authors and affiliation(s) with the presenter’s name underlined, 3) abstract body with no more than 250 words, and 4) presenter’s email address. An abstract example is provided below.

The soil mycobiome associated with orchids in Sweden. Cubeta, Marc A. (1), Carbone, Ignazio (1), White, James B. (1), Mahmood, Shahid (2), Finlay, Roger D. (2), and Stenlid, Jan (2). 1. Department of Plant Pathology, Center For Integrated Fungal Research, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606; 2. Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sci, Uppsala (macubeta@ncsu.edu).

Rhizoctonia fungi can establish beneficial symbiotic associations with orchids. In this study, soil samples were collected from eight geographic locations in central Sweden where orchid seedlings of Cypripedium calceolus, Dactylorhiza incarnata, D. maculata, Epipactis palustris, Listera ovata or Plantathera bifolia were growing. Soil fungal communities were determined with high throughput pyrosequencing of extracted genomic DNA and bioinformatics-based methods using the Sequence Clustering and Analysis of Tagged Amplicons (SCATA) analytical platform. To identify operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and characterize members of the soil fungal community, sequences were subjected to RDP classifier using the UNITE fungal ITS reference database. Sequence data were also analyzed with Tree-Based Alignment Selector (T-BAS) toolkit to determine OTU distribution. According to UNITE, fungal taxa in OTUs were distributed as: 984 Ascomycota (50%), 643 Basidiomycota (31%), 210 Chytridiomycota (4%), 201 Zygomycota (7%), 184 Glomeromycota (2%), and 58 Rozellomycota (1%). Of the total Ascomycota diversity, Leotiomycetes represented 22%, Sordariomycetes 9%, Saccharomycetes 6%, Dothideomycetes 4%, Eurotiomycetes 3%, Pezizomycetes 2% and Xylonomycetes 1%. Five of 14 OTUs sampled from all locations were tentatively identified as Exophiala equina, Mortierella amoeboidea, Operculomyces laminatus, Phoma brasiliensis, and Tetracladium furcatum. Fungal taxa that commonly form symbiotic associations with terrestrial orchids (e.g., Ceratobasidium, Sebacina, Thanatephorus, and Tulasnella=Epulorhiza) occurred in low frequency (>0.1%) across all samples, except for Epulorhiza sp. MO41 and two species of Sebacina at two locations where C. calceolus and L. ovata occurred, respectively. Research is currently in progress to examine the association of soil chemistry factors with orchid and fungal species distribution.

Welcome 2018 MASMC Keynote Speaker, Dr. Bill Sheehan, Athens, Georgia USA. Title: Citizen Science is Mushrooming – Bill is a retired entomologist who is coordinating the re-launch of the North American Mycoflora Project (NAMP). Originally proposed by Tom Bruns in 2011, NAMP’s goal is to create the first comprehensive funga of North American macrofungi. Now citizen science promises to jumpstart the project by making it easy and cheap for volunteers, in partnership with professionals, to document, voucher and sequence fungal specimens.  Bill will provide details in his presentation, which will be put in practice during the foray on Sunday.

Background Resources:

Middle Atlantic States Mycology Conference 2018 (MASMC 2018) Tentative Program

Friday, April 13
5:00-9:00 pm – Reception for early arrivals at the Meredith Blackwell’s home. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks provided. Directions will be provided.

Saturday, April 14 at the Saluda Shoals Park Classrooms

8:30-10:30 am – Oral presentations

10:30-11:00 am – Morning coffee break

11:00 am-12:00 pm – Oral presentations

12:00-2:30 pm – Group photo followed by lunch and posters

2:30-4:00 pm – Keynote lecture by Dr. Bill Sheehan, Athens, Georgia, “Citizen Science is Mushrooming”

4:00 pm – MASMC business meeting, informal look around at Saluda Shoals Park grounds

6:00 pm – Dinner at Saluda Shoals Park and after dinner mycological history. Meredith Blackwell – “Henry William Ravenel (1814-1887), Aristocratic farmer and collector of plants and fungi.” Read more at http://ravenel.cdh.sc.edu. Ravenel’s thirteen journals (1859-1887) and over 400 letters between him and other renowned naturalists and family members across the country and world have been digitized and can be read and searched together in one place. His collections formed the nucleus of the National Fungus Collection at the Bureau of Plant Industry (= USDA at Beltsville).

Sunday, April 15

8:30 am-12:00 pm – Dr. Larry F. Grand Mycoflora foray “TBA”.