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We now have our own lab (863 sq. ft.), which is large enough to accommodate a range of activities. It is divided into three “virtual” zones for research projects and work on the collection: (i) general activities pertaining to the collection, (ii) microscopy-photography area, and (iii) molecular research area.

In this area, spores extracted from active cultures are examined every day (usually 5-20 cultures at any given time). Vouchers are made at this time, if necessary and stored in oak boxes alphabetically by species name. Results of these observations are recorded on a printed form and also entered into our Oracle database.

Lab space with center table  Lab space with countertops

A sit-down table was designed specifically for efficient microscopic and photographic activities, which are critical to collection maintenance. Spores are collected, examined, and mounted by students, visitors, and staff for a myriad of projects or just to monitor cultures. A digital camera can be placed on any scope for photographic purposes. Data are entered on the computer from any workstation via a mobile wireless keyboard and mouse.

One side of the lab is devoted to instrumentation for DNA extraction, PCR, cloning, and electrophoresis. Materials are stored at 4oC, -20oC, -80oC, or -270oC (the last is located in an incubator room on the floor above).

Student using a microscope  DNA testing space