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How MinION sequencing is opening up new possibilities in citizen science and fungal conservation

Ema Corro

Ema Corro, MYCOmmunity Applied Mycology Inc, Australia

Abstract

Little is known about fungal ecology in Australia, with only 5% of species having been described. Citizen mycologists collect the vast majority of data through sighting and recording sporing bodies. Two approaches are being developed that will enable citizen scientists to use environmental DNA to search for fungi. One is LAMP tests to look for specific species of fungi in the field. The second is using MinION for detecting multiple species in environmental samples. Both methods also require the use of MinION to rapidly increase the number of fungi that have had their conserved ITS region sequenced.

Bio

Ema is a mycologist with a strong interest in community involvement in science. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Applied Science with Distinction and is currently completing her Honours project in mycelium composite materials at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia. She is project leader of the Wild Fungi DNA project, initiated by the organisation MYCOmmunity Applied Mycology, which is developing environmental DNA methods that citizen mycologists can use.