Submitted By

Name: Matteo Garbelotto
Institution: University of California Berkeley
Country: USA
Email: matteo@nature.berkeley.edu

Title & Categories

Case Study Title: Barcoding the Venice Fungal Collection
Focus Theme: Biotic inventory of multiple taxa in a region or habitat
Geographic Region: Europe
Habitat Type: Terrestrial temperate forest, Coastal wetlands, Terrestrial montane
Taxonomic Group: b: FUNGI


The Museum of Natural History in Venice (Italy) hosts the most complete fungal collection of italy with more than 25.000 samples representing over 5.000 species of fungi. The collection is the outlet of the largest association of mycologists in the world and is notable for its coverage of the wetland lagoon habitat around Venice, the forests of the Alps and Apennines and Mediterranean coastal wildlands. All samples have been taxonomically described and the collection is catalogued electronically.


The purpose of the study is to provide basic barcoding inventory for a group of organisms – the fungi- that is still underepresented overall. In particular, there is very limited barcoding data available for lagoon habitats and mediterranean coastal or montane forests. Alpine environments are better represented in the databases, but the project will definitely provide the most complete inventory for the Agaricales mushrooms coming from the Southern Alps.


The Museum of Natural History in Venice is well known for its algal, mollusk and fossil collections, Nonetheless the museum has become the natural choice to consolidate many fungal collections in Italy, often in the hands of privates. In the 1980’s the new fungal herbarium was started and with the assistance of many noted mycologists, the collection was enalrged to include over 25000 very well described specimens. This barcoding project was born out of a collaboration between the Museum and the University of california at Berkeley, and in particular the Forest Pathology and Mycology Laboratory. One of the purposes of the database is to allow for direct identification of fungal taxa from the environment. Barcoding will be essential to identify fungi in the wild for two reasons; 1- most fungi fruit relatively rarely, but are always present in the soil or in plant tissue; 2- many fungi, including mycorrhizal symbionts or obligate pathogens cannot be easily cultured, hence direct DNA-based identification is crucial.


The project’s co-PIs are Dr. Matteo Garbelotto (UCB) and Dr. Luca Mizzan (VeMuseum) Mr. Giovanni Robich is the volunteer curator of the fungal collection and has catalogued and prepared the vast majority of samples. Ms Amy Smith at UCB is in charge of sequencing and submitting the sequences The followimng URL has a list of samples that are going to be sequenced but also a list of all samples that can be easily added to the project per requests of interested third parties: http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/garbelotto/english/venice.php

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