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      DNA Barcoding for Identification of Consumer-Relevant Fungi Sold in New York: A Powerful Tool for Citizen Scientists?

      1 , 2 , *

      Foods

      MDPI

      DNA barcoding, citizen science, edible mushrooms, online databases

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          Abstract

          Although significant progress has been made in our understanding of fungal diversity, identification based on phenotype can be difficult, even for trained experts. Fungi typically have a cryptic nature and can have a similar appearance to distantly related species. Moreover, the appearance of industrially processed mushrooms complicates species identification, as they are often sold sliced and dried. Here we present a small-scale citizen science project, wherein the participants generated and analyzed DNA sequences from fruiting bodies of dried and fresh fungi that were sold for commercial use in New York City supermarkets. We report positive outcomes and the limitations of a youth citizen scientist, aiming to identify dried mushrooms, using established DNA barcoding protocols and exclusively open-access data analysis tools for species identification. Our results indicate that the single-locus nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) DNA barcoding approach allowed for identification of only a subset of all of the samples at the species level, although the generated high-quality DNA barcodes were submitted to three different databases. Our results highlight the need for a curated, centralized, and open access ITS reference database that allows rapid third-party annotations for the benefit of both traditional research as well as the emerging citizen science community.

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          Most cited references 29

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          A DNA barcode for land plants.

            (2009)
          DNA barcoding involves sequencing a standard region of DNA as a tool for species identification. However, there has been no agreement on which region(s) should be used for barcoding land plants. To provide a community recommendation on a standard plant barcode, we have compared the performance of 7 leading candidate plastid DNA regions (atpF-atpH spacer, matK gene, rbcL gene, rpoB gene, rpoC1 gene, psbK-psbI spacer, and trnH-psbA spacer). Based on assessments of recoverability, sequence quality, and levels of species discrimination, we recommend the 2-locus combination of rbcL+matK as the plant barcode. This core 2-locus barcode will provide a universal framework for the routine use of DNA sequence data to identify specimens and contribute toward the discovery of overlooked species of land plants.
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            Progress towards DNA barcoding of fungi.

             Keith Seifert (2009)
            The use of DNA sequences for identifying fungi and fungus-like organisms predates the DNA barcoding movement by at least 10 years. A brief overview of the mycological shift from phenotypic to molecular taxonomy is provided. Exploration of the animal barcode marker, cytochrome oxidase 1, by Canadian mycologists has been fruitful for some fungi, but intron issues and lack of resolution in other taxa prevent its universal application. The momentum established by 15 years of research on the fungal nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences will lead to a proposal to the Consortium for the Barcode of Life on the adoption of this marker as the fungal barcode. Existing mycological research networks should facilitate the rapid development of DNA barcoding of fungi once the marker issue is settled. Some available online fungal identification databases are briefly described. © 2009 Crown in the right of Canada.
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              Current state and perspectives of fungal DNA barcoding and rapid identification procedures.

              Fungal research is experiencing a new wave of methodological improvements that most probably will boost mycology as profoundly as molecular phylogeny has done during the last 15 years. Especially the next generation sequencing technologies can be expected to have a tremendous effect on fungal biodiversity and ecology research. In order to realise the full potential of these exciting techniques by accelerating biodiversity assessments, identification procedures of fungi need to be adapted to the emerging demands of modern large-scale ecological studies. But how should fungal species be identified in the near future? While the answer might seem trivial to most microbiologists, taxonomists working with fungi may have other views. In the present review, we will analyse the state of the art of the so-called barcoding initiatives in the light of fungi, and we will seek to evaluate emerging trends in the field. We will furthermore demonstrate that the usability of DNA barcoding as a major tool for identification of fungi largely depends on the development of high-quality sequence databases that are thoroughly curated by taxonomists and systematists.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Foods
                Foods
                foods
                Foods
                MDPI
                2304-8158
                08 June 2018
                June 2018
                : 7
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Francis Lewis High School, New York City Department of Education, Queens, NY 11365, USA; ejensenvargas@ 123456gmail.com
                [2 ]DNA Learning Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: cmarizzi@ 123456cshl.edu ; Tel.: +1-516-367-5170
                Article
                foods-07-00087
                10.3390/foods7060087
                6025134
                29890621
                © 2018 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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