The course aims to make the student acquire basic and advanced knowledge on the main laboratory techniques for the study of molecular phylogenetics at different taxonomic levels or of the evolutionary relationships between organisms through the analysis of molecular data and their representation through phylogenetic trees. More specifically, the student will be able to use the main basic techniques such as genomic DNA extraction, PCR amplification, agarose gel electrophoresis, sequencing along with basic notions on the use of bioinformatics software for data analysis.
The objective of the module of Applied Mycology is to provide the information necessary to understand the role of superior mushrooms in the protection of the environment and conservation of biodiversity, providing knowledge on the anatomy, morphology, ecology, biology of fungi, on the main edible species and poisonous of Sicily, the syndromes and intoxication, as well as on the Sicilian regional legislation.
Lectures and laboratories.
Should teaching be carried out in mixed mode or remotely, it may be necessary to introduce changes with respect to previous statements, in line with the programme planned and outlined in the syllabus.
Verification of learning: learning assessment may also be carried out on line, should the conditions require it.
Lectures and practical exercises in the laboratory. Should teaching be carried out in mixed mode or remotely, it may be necessary to introduce changes with respect to previous statements, in line with the programme planned and outlined in the syllabus.
Introduction to phylogeny. Molecular phylogenetics: orthologous and paralogous genes. Multiple alignments of sequences. Molecular evolution models. Analysis of molecular markers useful for phylogenetic purposes at different taxonomic levels Phylogenetic reconstruction methods: Neighbor-Joining, Maximum Parsimony, Maximum Likelihood. Methods for evaluating phylogenetic accuracy. Main software for phylogenetic analysis. General information on techniques in preparation for laboratory activities: isolation of genomic DNA, PCR amplification, agarose gel electrophoresis, sequencing. Data analysis using bioinformatics tools: analysis and editing of chromatograms of DNA sequences; Genbank database, search for similarity of sequences using Blast; multiple alignment of DNA sequences (ClustalW; MAFFT); case studies of phylogenetic inference.
Biology of fungi: the spore and the mycelium. Mutualistic symbiosis, saprotrophism and parasitism. Plant essences and trees of mycological interest, mycorrhizae and phytopathogenic fungi. Anatomy, structure and morphology of the superior epigeal fungi. Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes: main families and genera. Use of analytical keys for the recognition of the main families of Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes. Mycotoxicology: potentially deadly poisonous fungi, short and long latency. Long and short incubation syndromes. Non-edible and not recommended species. Mycotoxicosis. Recognition and comparison of the main edible and poisonous species. The cultivation of mushrooms and the main cultivated species. Food safety: use of mushrooms as food supplements, mycotherapy. Role and functions of the Mycologist inspector. The Regional Legislation. The mushrooms of the Sicilian territory and the mushrooms of Etna. How to prepare a mycological herbarium and set up a mycological exhibition.
1. Stingo et al., Anatomia Comparata. Edi. Ermes
2. Pascarella, Paiardini, Bioinformatica. Zanichelli
3. Graur. Molecular and Genome Evolution. Sinauer Associates, Oxford University Press.
4. Other material (pdf files) provided by the teacher
Oppicelli N. – Funghi in Italia, guida pratica alla ricerca ed al riconoscimento. Erredi Grafiche Editoriali (2020).
AMB (a cura di) – Atlante fotografico Funghi d’Italia vol. 1-2-3. Centro Studi Micologico AMB (2002).