DNA Barcoding Package – Specimens



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***We are generally not accepting specimens from projects we have not worked with before and the public order form is turned off. If you have a specific project, email us about it, and we can discuss the specifics. The focus for 2023 will be on Continental MycoBlitz 2023 specimens***

The DNA barcoding service has now been opened back up for new orders. There are two options available. The lower cost option requires the submission of the fungal tissue in 8-strip, flat-top PCR tubes. The full service option allows for the submission of dried specimens and we take care of the rest.

  Number of Specimens        Full Service                        Tissue in Tubes
1 – 25                                          $250 (minimum order)        N/A
30 – 100                                      $9.00/specimen                  N/A
101 – 200                                    $8.00/specimen                   $5.75/specimen
201 – 300                                    $7.00/specimen                   $4.75/specimen
301 – 500                                    $6.00/specimen                   $3.75/specimen
501 – 959                                    $5.00/specimen                   $2.75/specimen
960+                                            $4.00/specimen                  $1.75/specimen
To receive the pricing outlined above for a given order, you must actually submit the number of specimens outlined. Submission of fewer specimens will revert to the pricing of the correct cohort. This pricing is biased to benefit larger projects with more specimens, as our underlying goal with the service is to document all of the macrofungi of North America. If you would also like us to take the splits from the original sample, please add $1.50 per sample to the full service pricing scale.   Full service DNA barcoding package. You mail us a dried specimen and we take care of the rest. Package includes:
  • Tissue taken from the dried fungal specimen.
  • DNA extraction from tissue.
  • DNA amplification
  • DNA sequencing of the nrITS region with latest 10.4.1 ONT flowcells and kit 14 chemistry
  • DNA sequence editing and analysis with our custom pipeline
  • Personalized project dashboard (MycoMap.com)
  • DNA barcoding results – sample identification analysis; compare reference data from GenBank, iNat and MO endemic sequences, and our internal working database (20,000+ unpublished sequences) and a personalized Zoom consultation to answer any questions you have (if requested).
  • GenBank Upload
  • Upload of sequence data back to original MO or iNat observation.
Full Service Submission Requirements
  • Each specimen must have images uploaded to iNaturalist or Mushroom Observer. See this link for suggestions on preparing specimens for research.
  • The specimens must be dried and placed in a Ziploc bag. They must be cracker-dry. The iNat/MO number must be written on the outside of the bag.
  • Specimens will not be returned. They will be submitted to an herbarium of our discretion. It is ok to send splits or fragments (such as a partial cap) if you would like to retain some material locally.
  • No holds are allowed for submission to GenBank once sequencing is completed. You agree to make all data public on GenBank and iNat/MO.
Tissue in Tubes Submission Requirements
  • All full service requirements are also applicable to submissions with tissue, including the dried specimens.
  • Tissue must be taken in 8-strip, flat-top PCR tubes. Our suggested tubes can be found here.
  • The proper amount of tissue needs to be placed in each tube. You can see requirements for taking tissue here. NOTE: If you select this option and do not utilize the right amount of tissue in the tubes, we will not proceed with the project. It is imperative that you systematically use the right amount. Please contact us with images of your filled tubes if you have any questions as you begin your work.
  • An Excel spreadsheet needs to be completed that maps each sample to it’s corresponding iNat or MO observation. Sequencing will not begin until this information is fully completed.
Turnaround Time
Please allow 6 weeks for your results to be returned from the time they arrive at the lab.
How long from the time I order do I have to submit specimens?
We ask that specimens be submitted within 6 months of your order date. Specimens will be processed in the order they arrive. If your specimens do not arrive within 6 months, we may refund your order and you will lose your place in the queue.
NOTE: We do not plan on offering this service in perpetuity. This service offering may be paused at any time, depending on the amount of specimens in the queue and/or other factors. If the service is paused, any open orders will be completed, provided they arrive within the timeframe specified above. The last time we opened up ordering in 2019, it was closed down after a month due to ongoing large project requests. We are primarily seeking long-term project partners rather than one-off, ad-hoc small projects.

Unsuccessful Specimens
We are typically successful on 90% or more of specimens that are submitted. We cannot guarantee all of your specimens will be successful and we cannot offer refunds on specimens that are not successful. We will guarantee success rates of at least 80% of all specimens you submit, provided they are not in the groups outlined below.
Fungal groups excluded from this service Certain species, genera, and groups of fungi are more likely to fail the DNA extraction or amplification process. The primary groups that do not work well with our process include Cantharellus (0-20% success), Strobilomyces (0-20%), Tylopilus (20-60%), and Helvella (0-20%). We ask that you refrain from submitting these specimens. Fungi with a tough flesh, such as polypores, bird’s nest, and crusts, are more difficult to successfully extract DNA from (40-80%). These can be submitted, but will not fall within the 80% guarantee. The same is true for very small specimens, particularly when they are attached to wood. We do our best to accommodate all types of fungal projects, but you need to be aware that some projects may be more successful than others, and it may have to do with the groups of fungi you are working with. Feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss the particulars of your project. If recalcitrant specimens are your primary focus and we may have other options, such as a more complex extraction protocol. Specimens that are old or improperly dried may not be attempted at our discretion.
How can I learn more about nanopore sequencing? How does the error rate compare to Sanger? We have processed over 5,000 specimens with nanopore sequencing to this point and have found the nrITS results to be comparable to Sanger sequencing. This was true with the previous generation of flowcells (version 9.4.1). All sequencing will now be done with the updated 10.4.1 flowcells with the latest ONT kit 14 chemistry. There should be no concerns with the error rate of fungal amplicons from this point forward. For more on nanopore sequencing, you can check out this brief article.

  I have more questions. How can I get answers? You can email info@mycota.com with any additional questions.

A full set of protocols that are used for this service can be found here.

Additional information

Number of Specimens

up to 25, 30 – 100, 101 – 200, 201 – 300, 301 – 500, 501 – 959, 960 or more

Service Type

Full Service, Tissue in Tubes