From the Archive: 24,736 Citations and Counting

Tom Bruns, Tom White, Steve Lee and John Taylor

Published in 1990, a research paper from Professor John Taylor, visiting scholar Tom White, postdoctoral researcher Tom Bruns, and graduate student Steven Lee, has been cited more than twice a day since its appearance, with a current total of 24,736 citations (Google Scholar, August 2018). As described in their research, these four CNR scientists used the newly-invented polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to enable molecular identification and taxonomy of fungi. In the 1990s and 2000s, the PCR primers and the approach that they developed helped revolutionize fungal phylogenetics and taxonomy. When next-generation or high-throughput DNA sequencing became routine, ecologists began to use the same primers and approach to bring molecular precision to studies of mycobiomes (myco for fungi) of the environment (air, water, soil, plants) and of humans.