We invite you to participate in an effort to establish a Research Coordination Network (RCN) for the study of Plant-Associated Fungal Communities (i.e. endophytes, plant pathogens, mycorrhizae). The first step of this initiative was  the submission of a Research Coordination Network (RCN) proposal to NSF (June-2008).

If you would like to participate in this network please email aporras@unm.edu with the following information:

Name, Institution, e-mail address, Phone number, Postal address, Area of research


Plants are colonized by a diverse assemblage of fungi. Most studies of plant-fungal associations studies rely on molecular techniques that provide only circumstantial information on the nature and extent of these symbioses. We propose to create an international research coordination network to collate and extend available information on plant-associated fungal communities with special emphasis on endophytic fungi, organisms that asymptomatically colonize plant tissues and may rival arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in their contribution to plant community organization.  The central feature of this network will be an ecological metadatabase for endophytic fungi linked to the databases of the Long Term Ecological Research network.  This endophytic metadatabase is fundamental to the rapid development of this emerging field.  The plant-associated fungal network (PAFNet) will facilitate the interchange of information, promote synthetic research, and stimulate international collaborations.  Currently, the core participant group includes scientists from 35 different institutions. The network will promote the participation of young minority scientists and undergraduate students from liberal arts institutions. Students will be encouraged to apply for travel grants and we plan to support their contributions at scientific meetings and to metadatabase development and analyses. PAFNet also will organize a series of virtual symposiums and workshops to integrate network activities and provide training opportunities using the video-teleconferencing technology available at the University of NewMexico and the Long Term Ecological Research Network. Virtual conferencing will permit broad participation in the network and maximize the use of funds for database development and student training.


Dr. Andrea Porras-Alfaro, Dept. of Biology, University of New Mexico. email: aporras@unm.edu

Dr. Robert L. Sinsabaugh, Dept. of Biology, University of New Mexico. email: rlsinsabah@unm.edu 

 Dr. Jose Herrera, Dept. of Biology,  Truman State University. email: jherrera@truman.edu

  Dr. Kristin Vandervilt, Dept. of Biology, University of New Mexico. email:vanderbi@sevilleta.unm.edu  

Dr. Donald O. Natvig, Dept. of Biology, University of New Mexico. email: dnatvig@unm.edu