Fungal Diversity Survey
SSMC has now received the results from the mushroom tissues SSMC sent to ALVALABS in Spain to be sequenced. The sequences have been looked at by Danny Miller - and others - and ID results posted to the corresponding iNat observation. Following is the recap of the results of that order; SSMC sent in 28 tissues samples of which 23 resulted in good results. I ordered an additional 4 add-on LSU sequences to hopefully clarify the initial results. All four LSU results were successful and they were all helpful in establishing - confirming - the species uniqueness of the Pacific Northwest DNA of those fungi targeted for the additional DNA results. The 23 successful sequences were spread between twelve different collectors.
Additionally, there were included in the results 10 sequences that qualified for “PNW provisional numbered names”. The PNW name prefix means the resulting sequence does not match existing sequences of established known species. There was also an additional 8 results that were a "first" for Washington State including the Ramaria pictured here. The Ramaria magnifies var. alibidor collected from Cynthia Lake in the Wynoochee drainage by Mary McCallum (with Regina and Steve) has only been sequenced from eastern California (Holotype) and once from Oregon.
Great job SSMC Citizen Scientist!!
Ramaria magnifies var. alibidor
Sequencing, first thoughts;
Help us find and document 10 species of rare, under-documented and potentially threatened fungi on the West Coast. Scientists and conservationists need more data on these fungi in order to better understand and protect them - and all the other fungi they share their habitats with. Your high quality observations can make a difference.
About the Fungal Diversity Survey
The Fungal Diversity Survey (FDS) is the brand new and powerful process that puts in the hands of citizen scientist the ability to look at the DNA of fungi. The sequenced results opens the door to taxonomy and species ID as never before.
Sequencing; How did we get here?
The SSMC original introduction to sequencing was through an exciting adventure designed to introduce Citizen Scientist to the world of DNA. The original idea was sponsored by NAMA and was designed by visionaries who called it the Mycoflora Project (MP). The SSMC was enticed in the beginning by grants which paid for early sequencing.
Early growing pains of the MP caused this program to stall. With the grant money now drying up, coupled with a frustrating process, the SSMC struck out on their own. The SSMC Board generously continued to back member sequencing with financial contributions. Some tissue samples went to Purdue, then ALVALABS in Spain and finally to Molecular Solutions in Portland.
The Future, what now?
Building on what was learned initially, the original MP was shut down and revamped into a brand new effort which is called the Fungal Diversity Survey. Many of their original bottlenecks have been eliminated and grants will be soon awarded. SSMC has applied for one of these grants. This is an exciting time for Citizen Scientist participating in the world of taxonomy and DNA analysis.
Sequencing through this new program will now be done in Ontario Canada. The end result to the user is that the prices paid for sequencing will be considerably less. Additionally, we will have a new way to look at and analysis our results through BOLD (Barcode of Life Database). Check it out; BOLD.
What has the Olympia group accomplished?
Under various programs the SSMC has had about 230 tissue samples sequenced. (More if you count Mycoblitz sequencing). While not all have yielded a usable sequence, most have. It is a dream to have a one stop clearing house where all sequences can be viewed, but changing hands with various contractors that dream waits to be fulfilled. It is hoped that BOLD will eventually fulfill that goal.
For now, there are various opportunities to view SSMC results
SSMC has been working with Danny Miller as his expertise in reading sequence results is top of the that small group of experts. We are extremely lucky to have his generous support!