BLS DNA Bar Coding Workshop 10th to 12th February 2023
Matthew Wainhouse, the Lichen and Fungi specialist at English Nature obtained a grant in 2022 towards running a workshop on Lichen DNA bar coding workshop using Bento Labs boxes. These labs in a box can be used for home DNA bar coding and have great potential for lichenology. They are being used very successfully in amateur mycology see link. They have also been used in the Lost and Found project run by Brian Douglas at Kew. Matthew had noted when discussing a possible bar coding project on a rare lichen, that few lichens are in the sequencing databases. There are also lots of taxonomic problems that need addressing in lichens, for which easy bar coding will facilitate. This would make critical taxonomic work possible by citizen science using these tools. Also Matthew is concerned that environmental monitoring using eDNA is increasing in importance and lack of lichen data in the databases will hinder this.
The course was run by Brian Douglas, now employed by Bento Lab, with two introductory Zoom lectures held first, followed by the workshop in a class room at the Wyre Forest Visitor Centre where Matthew Wainhouse assisted Brian on 10th to 12th February. This was attended by 11 people, and it proved to be a fascinating and inspiring course, if intense. As materials are produced links will be added here to resources and results.
An agarose gel electrophoresis plate, which demonstrated we were getting successful results (click on the image to see a larger one)
Zoom Lecture Videos
A link to the first lecture by Brain Douglas, an introduction to DNA bar coding for lichens link
A link to the pre-workshop lecture by Brain Douglas link