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U.S. National Fungus Collections

posted on 2024-02-08, 20:36 authored by U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service

The U.S. National Fungus Collections (BPI) are the “Smithsonian for fungi” and are the repository for over one million fungal specimens worldwide - the largest such collections in the world. The collection includes preserved organisms, their parts and products, and their associated data. Information associated with these specimens constitute an enormous data resource, especially about plant-associated fungi. The collections document fungi through time and space for the past 200 years.

Data from the labels of more than 750,000 of the specimens have been entered into a database. These labels have information on the host on which the fungus was found and the locality in which the specimen was collected. Sixty percent of these specimens are from the United States and thus represent a large body of information about the fungi in this country.

Data entry has been completed for the Uredinales (rusts), the Ustilaginales (smuts), the Polyporales (polypores), the Deuteromycetes (imperfect fungi), the Ascomycetes, and the C.G. Lloyd collections. Recent progress has been made in the computerization of specimens of the agarics and the "lower" fungi including the Oomycetes and Chytridiomycetes.

Resources in this dataset:




Data contact name

Castlebury, Lisa A.


U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service

Intended use

Access is available to professional mycologists associated with a recognized herbarium.

Use limitations

Loans are only made to other institutions and not to private individuals. The collection is not available to the public, except for occasional tours made by appointment only and subject to approval of the Herbarium Director.

Temporal Extent Start Date



  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


ISO Topic Category

  • biota

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

databases; mycorrhizal fungi; fungi; Pucciniales; Ustilaginales; Polyporales; Deuteromycotina; Ascomycota; Oomycetes; Chytridiomycetes; Biological Sciences; Plant Science and Plant Products

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (2016). U.S. National Fungus Collections. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.