Welcome to our Science Project!
We’re working to survey and sequence the fungal diversity of the Rochester area and the state of New York. Our project is open to members and non members alike, as long as you’re collecting in the state of New York. But becoming a member is one of the best ways to support our project!
Check out some of the recent Observations from our iNat Projects:
We’re focused on barcoding the diversity of the state so we primarily use the ITS regions for the outcomes of our seasonal projects, but we will also periodically generate data sets for other regions and are building towards creating whole genome workflows for special taxa or projects of interest.
All of our results are published under an Open Source license to one or more of the following data sources:
We will run 3 projects per year; a Spring Summer and Fall Campaign. March through May, June to August, and September to November. Each of these projects is organized by an iNaturalist project, and you can find them all under our umbrella project here: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/rochester-area-mycological-association
How to participate in our Sequencing projects:
- Join the iNaturalist project and create Observations of mushrooms you find in New York.
- Observations should follow all our best practices guidelines for documentation and photography. We want to have a good picture, ideally in situ to put with a sequence.
- All mushrooms must be collected somewhere you have explicit permission to be, this means private property with the owner’s permission, permitted forays on state and county land, or public property that has given you some other written permission for access. Please include a copy of any public permits with your submissions.
- Collect and Dry the fruit bodies.
- Collections should be dried completely, and kept free of excess dirt and debris.
- Collections ideally contain 2-3 complete fruit bodies in different stages of maturity. Unusual specimens can be sequenced from even just a fragment of tissue, but a good collection may allow us to connect the sequence to older names that don’t exist in the genetic reference set yet.
- Once the collection is totally dry, put it in a ziplock sandwich bag with a label that includes:
- The iNaturalist ID number (a 9 digit number unique to each observation, it’s in the URL)
- The date and city/county in NY where you found it.
- Your Name
- Your best guess at what it might be.
- Bring batches of your collections to the RAMA Monthly Meetings (please don’t bring them to forays they may get lost outdoors) and turn them over to one of the club officers.
- Consider making a donation.
- We are aiming to sequence approximately 5000 mushrooms over the next 2-3 years. We will sequence all submitted collections with good quality iNat observations, that are well preserved with proper labels until we’ve bent the biodiversity accumulation curve enough to be confident we can identify the collection without a sequence.
- Wait a while… we do the DNA sequencing in large batches, so it’s likely we’ll publish the results a month or two after the end of each seasonal project. The results are pushed to the iNaturalist observations after being processed on the mycomap platform.
- If you can’t make a meeting, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you find where to send your collections.
Download our Printable Voucher Sheet by clicking the pop out button on the preview above to record information about your collections. We encourage you fill out one of these cards for each collection, photograph it with the fungus you found and include that as one of the photos on your iNaturalist observations.