Scientists are now discovering that the millions of biological collections kept behind the scenes in museums and herbaria can serve as a roadmap for understanding biological responses to global change. In this project, we propose to pull data from herbarium specimens to uncover the natural history of microbial diversity, which are not only crucial to plants for healthy growth and protection from herbivores, but, in turn, are useful as sources of new medicine in pharmaceutical industries.
Daru, B.H., Bowman, E.A., Pfister, D.H. & Arnold, A.E. (2018) A novel proof-of-concept for capturing the diversity of endophytic fungi preserved in herbarium specimens. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 374: 20170395 doi: 10.1098/rstb.2017.0395.
We invite enthusiastic individuals, researchers, and organizations to join our efforts in turning herbarium records into big data for plant microbiomes. By leveraging the millions of biological collections kept in museums and herbaria, we aim to uncover the natural history of microbial diversity and its crucial role in supporting healthy plant growth and providing potential sources of new medicine in pharmaceutical industries.
To get involved or learn more about participating in the project, please reach out to us via email.