Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General

What is a mycoflora?
A mycoflora is a survey of all of the fungi that exist in a defined geographic region. It could be as simple as a list of all of the species that occur within those boundaries. The more metadata that is associated with each species in the list, the more robust and useful your mycoflora would be. Essential metadata includes dates and locations where observations occured, color images of specimens, and dried physical collections of the specimens that were observed. Getting DNA sequence data from each of these collections will also add tremendous value to your project. Our protocols are designed to streamline organization of all of this data for your projects and to make DNA sequencing accessible and cost effective for your projects.
Who is operating the North American Mycoflora project?
What species are most important to this project?

Participation

Can individuals participate in this project?
Yes, we do not require that you are a part of any formal organization to become a participating member or apply for funding. However, if there is a formal organization that covers your region, we ask that you work closely with them as a part of this project.
Why should I be a participating member?

Funding

What type of funding is available?
Funding is available for genetically sequencing citizen science collections of macrofungi from North America. This funding is available from the Mycological Society of America (MSA) and from the North American Mycological Association (NAMA). Click this link to learn more about the application process.
How many specimens might you fund for sequencing?
Do I have to be part of an organization to receive grants?

Protocols

Do I have options for where to store my data online?
We have current data integrations with Mushroom Observer, iNaturalist, and MyCoPortal. If you would like to utilize an online platform for your project, other than one of these three, please contact us before setting up a project.
Do I have to use the NAMP tissue collection tubes to participate?
Must I utilize NAMP data collection slips?
Can tissue be taken after the specimen is dry?
Can we use Whatman cards for tissue collection?
How long can the collection tubes be stored?

NAMP Field Data Slips

Do I have to use NAMP field data slips?
If you plan on utilizing the sequencing service as a part of this project, we ask that you label your tubes with one of the sequential numbers found on the field data slips. The other alternative we suggest is printing off tube labels that contain the MO/iNat/MP number for the collection. We will not accept tubes with handwritten labels. 
How are these slips intended to be used?
Does the entire slip need to be filled out for each specimen?
How many slips are in a notepad?
Does the order of the numbers matter in any way?
What if it is raining outside? What should I do then?

Sequence Analysis

What if my sequence comes back as a contaminant?
In a small number of cases, the sequence results that come back will represent some kind of contaminant, such as another type of fungi like a yeast or a mold. This is an unavoidable aspect of the process, and is much more common in certain groups, such as jelly fungi. It is also much more common for specimens that were not immediately placed in the dryer or were otherwise dried improperly. If you receive a sequence of a contaminant back, there is little we can do except attempt another DNA extraction from the orignal material. This would be an additional fee and there is no guarantee the next attempt would be successful. Typically, most researchers do not attempt this unless the specimen has some kind of unusual importance.

Follow the steps on this page if you encounter a contaminant in one of your sequences.

About North American Mycoflora Project

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.

Latest News

16 October 2017
04 October 2017
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