Volunteers from the San Diego Mycological Society have been vouchering some of the mushroom specimens gathered during their forays in the SD Herbarium at the San Diego Natural History Museum, with the goal of eventually creating a synoptic collection cataloguing the mushrooms of our county. Read our short article “Barcoding Mushrooms in a Biodiversity Hotspot”.
In 2014, we began preserving tiny tissue samples from the specimens so they could be DNA barcoded. Barcoding http://www.ibol.org/phase1/about-us/what-is-dna-barcoding/ is a new system of species identification and discovery that is being used worldwide (see iBOL ). The sequence of a short section of DNA taken from a standardized region of the genome provides a unique code that can be used to identify different species.
In 2019, we began a DNA Barcoding Citizen Science Project in conjunction with the North American Mycoflora Project. See http://mycoflora.org/ and this video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=ndRNaZVqUas
Our main purpose in cataloging the variety of mushroom species of San Diego County is to broaden the scientific understanding of local biodiversity, as part of the San Diego Barcode of Life. See http://sandiegobarcodeoflife.org/
We also want to promote involvement in citizen science and foster science education/outreach in our community. See https://sandiegocitscinetwork.wordpress.com/
San Diego is a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot with many rare, threatened and endangered species, so it is important that they are all documented before they are lost to climate change, urban development, and/or wildfire.
Thank you for your interest the San Diego Mycological Society! The easiest way to help is to become a member (just $25) or make a small donation to help support our work.
Please contact us at [email protected] with any questions about the project and how you can get involved.