Nordic mycologists adding data to world fungi database in Estonia

The Nordic Mycological Congress takes place in Kääriku and during the event, 60 researches will go into nature to collect fungi and determine the DNA of the collected species. The gathered data will be entered in a global database which is developed by the University of Tartu researchers.

The objective of the congress, which takes place from 10 to 15 September, is to gather scientific material from various ecosystems and examine it together. A temporary laboratory with work desks, microscopes, computers and other necessary equipment has been set up to examine the mycological material.

Organisers hope that top researchers and experts of the field will discover dozens of fungi species which are new in Estonia.

"This year we have introduced an important addition. We take a DNA sample from all the collected fungi species, the DNA barcode of the species will be determined on the basis of the sample and the data will be entered in the UNITE database. This is the world’s leading and largest database for fungal DNA sequences and its development is led by University of Tartu researchers," said Head of the University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Professor of Mycology Urmas Kõljalg when he introduced the congress.

"For the first time the congress takes place in a country which is not traditionally considered a Nordic country and it is a great recognition for Estonia in this field," thinks Kõljalg.

The 22nd Nordic Mycological Congress is organised by the University of Tartu Natural History Museum.

Additional information:
Urmas Kõljalg
Head of the University of Tartu Natural History Museum
phone +372 737 6235, +372 5341 2823
urmas.koljalg@ut.ee