Mushroom DNA barcoding for the citizen scientist

Damon TigheChanges in DNA Sequencing technologies over the past decade have greatly reduced the cost of sequencing, making it available for non-academics and hobbyists. This presentation will cover the basic molecular biology involved in doing Sanger DNA Sequencing, the most commonly used technique for DNA Barcoding of Fungi. The tools and protocols involved will be covered at a few different levels, so that attendees can see how to get involved sequencing mushrooms of interest to them. Basic bioinformatics including BLAST, sequence aligners, and tree building tools will be stepped through with a focus on the freeware that I traditionally help high schoolers use. To see the power of adding DNA Sequencing to your identification toolbox a few example mushrooms will be covered.

About Damon Tighe:
Born in Klamath Falls Oregon and raised in Calaveras County of California, Damon Tighe attended Saint Mary’s college of Moraga California where he worked on local newspapers while earning a Biology/Chemistry degree. He taught High School in Portland, Oregon and moved back to the Bay Area to work on the Human Genome Project at the National Lab’s Joint Genome Institute. He spent a bit of time pursing a MFA in Natural History and Science Filmmaking in Montana, but returned to the Oakland to work on biofuels and single cell genomics. He currently manages an apartment complex in downtown Oakland, works for Bio-Rad laboratories designing curriculum and training educators from Colorado to the coast in biotechnology, and is well versed in local fungi and plants. The last few years he’s helped a number of high school classrooms start documenting their local fungi with iNaturalist and do DNA Barcoding.