Profiles of secondary metabolites provide powerful tools for fungal identification and can give insight in very large parts of the fungal genome, in addition of being functional and ecological characters. Metabolite profiling is currently being revolutionized by developments in MS as well as chemo-metrics and data handling which is necessary to cope with the immense quantities of data collected (@ 1 Gb/day). Chemical characters can be used directly in synoptic keys. They are also very suitable for databases as they can be accurately recorded using specific chemical methods. Natural classifications are often based on a polyphasic approach, where ideally many different ecologically relevant characters should be used.
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