On site collection of edible mushrooms
For the site work we will make a systematic list of all possible species of edible mushrooms. Each specimen will be given an id number, before being photographed and carefully harvested. The specimen will be described according to the standard methodology of Eyi et al. (2011). Afterwards, the sample will be dried and stored as herbarium material, which will later undergo microscopic examination and identification.
The park rangers will accompany the mycologists during the collection of mushrooms. This will facilitate their training in the identification and description of collected samples.
Isolation of fungal samples
The fruiting bodies of the fungi (the mushroom itself, scientifically known as the sporophore) are isolated from the stems in a sterile environment. The fresh sporophores are cut with sterile instruments, a small sample of around 30 mm of the fungal tissue is immediately removed and placed on a suitable substrate in a Petri dish. The mycelium (or fungal mass) will be regularly transferred to fresh Petri dishes to avoid contamination and to obtain pure samples.
Identification of herbarium specimens
All of the field collected specimens will be thoroughly examined by mycologists of the Botanic Garden, Meise. The macro and microscopic properties of each sample are recorded and compared with identification literature. Whenever the characteristics of the collected specimens cannot be associated with a previously recorded species (www.indexfungorum.org), it will be considered as a possible new species to science. These cases will be reported in scientific publications.
In the laboratory of Kigali farms, samples of fungal material are tested for commercial cultivation. The 3rd generation of mycelium are inoculated onto different growth media to test the reaction of the samples and to assess their growth potential
Publication in international journals
The results of this research and development will be submitted for publication in international scientific journals. In the framework of this project expect that new species will be discovered. These new species will be described in leading journals for fungal taxonomy.
Production of educative material to provide information of the local communities.Educative material (e.g. pamphlets) about edible mushrooms of Rwanda will be produced for distribution in schools and organisations that are active in the protection of natural resources in the region..