View Full Version : Researchers Export Groundbreaking Mushroom Technology

12-06-2010, 04:40 PM
Researchers Export Groundbreaking Mushroom Technology (http://news.err.ee/sci-tech/27249814-4a1a-4a7c-853d-f7c821df2efe)

Photo: ERR

Mushroom researchers and health institutions around the world are using a database launched by the University of Tartu this fall, which can be used to confirm the identity of everything from chanterelles in a salad to the fungi causing a house to rot away.

The constantly updated database, which researchers began developing nine years ago, currently holds bar codes for 175,000 species of mushrooms, reported ETV. Its numerous fields of application include scanning imported garden plants and flowers for harmful fungi.

Scientists hope that in the future, the common hobbyist can also use the technology. Wild mushroom picking is a popular traditional pastime in Estonia.

"We know a few companies that are trying to create technologies that would enable integrating the genome sequence into cell phones or GPS-type devices,“ said University of Tartu mycology professor Urmas Kõljalg. "This would mean that, while in the forest, a chanterelle sampling could be inserted into a device that would connect with the database and then send an answer, that it's not a chanterelle [at all]; it's a fly agaric (a poisonous toadstool), for example."