Thursday, October 29, 2009

Processing Fungal Specimens

After a long day of collecting fungi within my research site, I return to the lab and begin processing the collection.  Characteristics of the fungal specimens are described using basic tools, such as a stereoscope, microscope, and digital camera.  A description of ephemeral traits are recorded and images are taken of macroscopic and microscopic structures.  Spore prints are also prepared for many specimens within the collection and aide in their identification.  It takes roughly 2-4 days in the lab to process specimens collected during a single visit to my research site.  All data concerning the collection is entered into an electronic database and will be accessible in the future through a website.  The  first image has captured me entering data into a lab journal.  This information will then be compiled and entered into the electronic database.  The second image shows details of the pileus and gill tissue for an Inocybe sp.  Once the fungal specimens have been dried, tissue is removed for further DNA analysis, and a voucher is prepared.

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