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The UNITE database for molecular identification of fungi: handling dark taxa and parallel taxonomic classifications.

Journal article
Authors R. Henrik Nilsson
Karl-Henrik Larsson
Andy F S Taylor
Johan Bengtsson-Palme
Thomas S Jeppesen
Dmitry Schigel
Peter Kennedy
Kathryn Picard
Frank Oliver Glöckner
Leho Tedersoo
Irja Saar
Urmas Kõljalg
Kessy Abarenkov
Published in Nucleic acids research
Volume 47
Issue D1
Pages D259-D264
ISSN 1362-4962
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Centre for antibiotic resistance research, CARe
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages D259-D264
Language en
Subject categories Microbiology, Botany, Genetics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, Ecology, Terrestrial ecology, Freshwater ecology, Marine ecology, Biological Systematics, Functional genomics, Agricultural Science, Forestry and Fisheries, Databases, Data processing, Bioinformatics (Computational Biology)


UNITE ( is a web-based database and sequence management environment for the molecular identification of fungi. It targets the formal fungal barcode-the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region-and offers all ∼1 000 000 public fungal ITS sequences for reference. These are clustered into ∼459 000 species hypotheses and assigned digital object identifiers (DOIs) to promote unambiguous reference across studies. In-house and web-based third-party sequence curation and annotation have resulted in more than 275 000 improvements to the data over the past 15 years. UNITE serves as a data provider for a range of metabarcoding software pipelines and regularly exchanges data with all major fungal sequence databases and other community resources. Recent improvements include redesigned handling of unclassifiable species hypotheses, integration with the taxonomic backbone of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, and support for an unlimited number of parallel taxonomic classification systems.

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