Three activities occupy most of my research:
- My research interests are on taxonomy, systematics and ecology of the Agaricales (mushrooms and allies). Most of my work has focused on neotropical and subtropical fungi, particularly those from Costa Rica. Now, I am working with mushrooms of the Gulf States of the United States, also an area of exceptional biodiversity. Many neotropical fungi have affinities with northern fungi, including those present in southeastern United States.
- I am working with the American Shiitake (Lentinula raphanica). An edible species like the commercial strain, this mushroom in not well-known and there are no genetic or physiology studies. In my lab, students have performed basic cultural and molecular studies that will enable us to study other aspects such as fruiting parameters, strain selection, and genotyping.
- Because of the proximity to mayor water bodies –the Mobile River Delta and the Gulf of Mexico- I am involved in a collaborative effort to document fungi associated to seagrasses. We have been able to identify several mitosporic fungi previously which constitute new reports on this type of angiosperms, and brings to attention the ecological role of this inconspicuous fungi in fragile marine ecosystems.
The tools used to complete these projects include in vitro mating studies, basidiome (i.e. mushroom) morphological description and analysis, and DNA sequencing. Fieldwork is needed to collect these fungi in their natural environment.
Hughes K.W., Petersen R.H., Mata J.L., Psurtseva N., Kovalenko A., Morosova O., Lickey E., Cifuentes-Blanco J., Lewis D., Nagasawa E., Halling R.E., Takehashi S., Aime M.C., Bau T., and Henkel T. 2007. Megacollybia (Agaricales). Rep. Tottori Mycol. Inst. 45:1-57.
Mata, J.L., Hughes, K.W. and Petersen, R. H. 2007. An investigation of /omphalotaceae (Fungi: Euagarics) with emphasis on the genus Gymnopus. Sydowia 58(2):191-289.
Mata, J.L., Halling, R.E., Hughes, K.W. & Petersen, R. H. 2004. Rhodocollybia (Agaricales) from neotropical montane forests. Submitted (Mycological Progress).
Mata, J.L., & Petersen, R.H. 2004. New species and mating system reports in Gymnopus from Costa Rica. Fungal Diversity (In press).
Schmit, J.P., Mueller, G.M., Leacock, P.R., Mata, J.L., Wu, Q., and Huang, Y 2005. Assessment of tree species richness as a surrogate for macrofungal species richness. Biological Conservation 121:99-110.
Mata, J.L., Halling, R. E., Hughes, K.W. & Petersen, R. H. 2004. Phylogenetic placement of Marasmiellus juniperinus. MycoScience 45:214-221.
Mata, J.L. & Petersen, R.H. 2003. Type studies of neotropical Collybia species. Mycotaxon 86:303-316.
Mata, J.L., Petersen, R.H. and Hughes, K.W. 2001. The genus Lentinula in the Americas. Mycologia 93(6): 1102-1112.
Mata, J.L. and Petersen, R.H. 2001. Type specimen studies in New World Lentinula. Mycotaxon 79:217-229.
Mata, J.L. and Petersen, R.H. 2000. A new species of Lentinula (Agaricales). MycoScience 41: 351-355.