(NAFB)--North America’s largest collection of fungi is maintained by USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists. The collection - which started with fewer than three-thousand specimens in 1885 - contains more than a million reference specimens. It has played a crucial role in helping scientists identify the specific fungus causing an anthracnose disease discovered in a southern turf grass and another fungus destroying trees of edible fruits in Honduras. By identifying the correct fungal culprit of anthracnose disease in centipedegrass in the southern U.S. - turf grass managers can use the proper fungicide to control the disease. Scientists discovered a little known fungus was causing a stem canker disease for two tropical plants that produce edible fruits in Honduras. The fungal research will help plant pathologists accurately identify the cause of the disease in specialty crops and help plant quarantine officials identify disease-causing fungi.