The Erysiphales Database is a tool for researchers and plant diagnosticians studying powdery mildew fungi. Determining an unknown species is a time-consuming task that must proceed by consulting primary taxonomic literature. The database is intended to simplify and accelerate the process of identifying species and locating appropriate taxonomic literature.

The database presently includes information on more than 95% of the Erysiphales species known in the world. New information is added continually and our goal is to include all described species. The current list of species in the database can be seen by using “search by criteria” without inputting any search criteria—this search will return the entire list of species. Users should be aware that because of the vast literature on powdery mildews, at any point in time this database (like all compilations of information on significant groups of fungi) will be an incomplete reflection of all available information. In this implementation the database includes BLAST searches using DNA sequences to help identify species. Sequence data presently are lacking for the vast majority of powdery mildews but additional sequences are added as they become available.

The taxonomy of Erysiphales is a rapidly evolving scientific enterprise and users of this database will be well-served by designing searches and interpreting results as if they were experiments, rather than regarding them as returning definitive results. Inputting search criteria is accelerated through the use of dropdown menus that provide choices for character states. Searches using incomplete data are allowed.

In general, by including more data to perform the search, you will decrease the number of matches returned by the search.

The report for a search consists of a list of species that match the criteria specified. By clicking on the name of a species your browser will direct you to the summary of information on that species. Summaries include literature citations, with hot links to online publications when available, that should be used to verify the identification.

Searches using sequence data are performed using BLAST. BLAST searches compare the sequence you input with those in the Erysiphales database (not sequences in GenBank or other online databases). Reports are will be familiar to experienced BLAST users. Each report provides a list of species, listed in decreasing order of similarity to the input sequence. The full report for each species can be seen by clicking on the species name. The species report includes a list of sequences representing that species in the Erysiphales database, along with links to original sequence data in GenBank.

Updating and correcting this database will continue for the foreseeable future, and we anticipate that its usefulness will continue to grow as more information is added to it. We would appreciate any suggestions for corrections or improvements
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