Quick Protocol Guide

Before your Project Begins

In the Field

  • Photograph specimens in the field with a smart phone (or other camera that collects time stamp and GPS information).
  • Collect specimens, keeping different collections separate. 

  • Fill out and photograph your Field Data Slip with each physical collection.  Note characteristics which are not captured photographically, and may be lost. E.g., taste, odor, staining. Note others which could be captured photographically, but often are not. E.g., nearest tree (at least hardwood vs conifer). Store this slip (or part of it with the unique number) with the specimen.


At Home Base

    • Take additional close-up photos of key features with a DSLR camera if desired.
    • Upload photos to a databased Internet platform like Mushroom Observer, iNaturalist, or MycoPortal, along with any notes. Many amateurs use MO and iNat because they each have communities of users that give feedback on IDs.
    • Utilizing MyCoPortal as your primary data repository (optionally posting to MO or iNat at the end) requires the use of a specific workflow. Please see instructions here.
    • If you use MO or iNat:
      • Create a Species List in MO, or a Project in iNaturalist, and add observations you plan to collect tissue from for sequencing.
      • Include the NAMP field data slip number in MO "Accession Number" field or the iNaturalist "Voucher number(s)" field
      • NOTE: The observation number of the platform (with url) becomes the unique specimen ID -- for example, MO Observation 278460 or iNat Observation 6461208.  This ID will be used to coordinate between fungaria, MycoPortal, Genbank, etc. Facebook and Flicker are not acceptable platforms for the primary observational report for this project.
  • Dry specimens
    • A food dehydrator is essential if you’re going to be processing a lot of specimens (drying temperature under 105 deg. F. is ideal).
    • Tear off the "drying" portion of the field data slip and tape it in the dehydrator with your specimen. 
    • Store specimens in a ziplock baggie with the remainder of the field data slip once they are cracker dry.

  • Triage and Tissue Collection
    • Determine which specimens are needed for vouchering and/or sequencing. This will vary depending on who is paying for sequencing.
    • Take tissue samples of specimens which are selected for sequencing.

  • Print packing list and voucher labels.
    • Export observations in Species List (MO) or Project (iNat) as Mycoflora (MO) or Symbiota spreadsheet (csv). Ensure each record has a corresponding Mycoflora Specimen Number. 
    • Print a list of your specimens from the spreadsheet to serve as the packing list for your shipment to herbaria and the sequencing facility.
    • Print herbarium labels/specimen packets if requested by your partner herbarium.
    • Ensure individual specimens are individually labeled with all of the correct metadata: a species name, collection date, collection location, and specimen number. 
    • If specimens are being sent for sequencing, fill out the sequencing submission form to get the address of the facility that will be sequencing your specimens. Include your MO/iNat spreadsheet in this submission.
  • Mail specimens to Herbarium and/or DNA Sequencing Lab
    • Place specimen packets or bags with labeled, dried specimens in a small box along with the packing list. 
    • Mail your tissue samples to the lab doing sequencing. 
    • Email your herbarium about your upcoming shipment, along with the MO/iNat upload spreadsheet. Mail your specimens to your herbarium.
Review the DNA Sequencing Submission Checklist as you are preparing your specimens and tissue samples for submission.

About North American Mycoflora Project

NAMP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We are working towards a single goal - the development of the first comprehensive mycoflora of North America. This project is a consortium of citizen scientists and professional mycologists performing a biological survey of all the macrofungi that occur in North America.

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