Wild Fungi DNA

Raised so far
Aiming to raise
What we are asking for and why

Fungi play a crucial role in the environment as decomposers, soil builders, food for animals and plant symbionts. Yet very little is known about Australian native fungi. Only 5% percent of the estimated 250,000 species have even been described.

The Wild Fungi Project aims to make DNA technology accessible to citizen-scientists so that we can fill the gap in our knowledge about native fungi. We aim to:

  • Sequence the DNA of several hundred species of fungi
  • Design low cost chemical tests that can detect the presence of a species in the environment
  • Design eDNA and sequencing methods for use with a portable DNA sequencer

The data gathered through these methods will be used to

  • Identify endangered fungi for protection under the IUCN Red List of Threated Species
  • Understand the distribution and life-cycles of native fungi
  • Understand the effects of fire, land clearing and climate change on fungi
  • Improve land management to protect our native species
  • Protect the habitat of endangered fungi

COVID-19 has severely impacted our ability to raise money to cover ongoing expenses. It has also affected our partner organisation the BioQuisitive laboratory who have generously offered us free use of their equipment and facilities. We are asking for donations to contribute towards:

  • Ongoing expenses including consumables and helping with rent for the BioQuisitive laboratory
  • Designing eDNA test kits for different species
  • Scientific equipment including a micro-spectrophotometer and micro-fluorometer. These instruments would allow us to do all of our DNA preparation in-house. We are also looking for more microscopes which we can use to train people in identification of fungi. If anyone hears of any of this equipment being discarded or sold second hand please let us know.

A recurring donation of just $10 per month will help to cover our ongoing costs. To make recurring donations go here: https://hub.benojo.com/cause/5ebcfc89dfee8a0035cc54d1/donation

For more info about the project see: http://myco.org.au/wild-dna-project/