Genetic identification of fungi

The Scientific Commission of the Swiss Mushroom Association (VSVP) offers its members the opportunity to genetically identify species that pose identification challenges and investigate newly discovered findings in Switzerland as part of this project.

The data and information centre SwissFungi is mandated by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) to document the diversity of fungal species in Switzerland and to monitor them periodically within the framework of Red List surveys. In recent decades, many new taxonomic studies were published, all of which are based on genetic analyses. Alongside a plethora of taxonomic adaptations, these endeavors have unveiled a multitude of previously undiscovered species.These, in turn, have at least partly already been included in new identification books, which currently often leads to the discovery of new species for Switzerland.

In order to verify these new discoveries and to validate species that are difficult to delimit, many amateur mycologists would like to have a genetic examination of their morphologically determined fungi. This project offers members of the Scientific Commission of the Swiss Mushroom Association (VSVP) the opportunity to have a maximum of 300 mushroom specimens sequenced and analyzed by SwissFungi each year.. Only specimens that are well documented and photographed are analysed. The sequence data are subsequently deposited in the NCBI GenBank and the specimens are deposited in the Fungarium at ETH Zurich (ZT). We hope that this will lead to a higher quality of identifications, valuable DNA sequence data of species that are rare and difficult to identify and, last but not least, that the members of the Scientific Commission will gain more certainty in the identification of the collected fungi.