Implementation of morphology and genetics to more clearly elucidate classification of the genus Psilocybe in Australia

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Hemmati, Homa (2023) Implementation of morphology and genetics to more clearly elucidate classification of the genus Psilocybe in Australia. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


In the field of Ethnomycology, clearly describing and characterising fungi taxa is a prerequisite to understanding their potential properties so that they can be studied, developed and eventually employed by mankind. Previous studies have shown that some members of the genus Psilocybe may be useful but of the over 200 described species and many more undescribed species, only a handful have been investigated. It is assumed that many of the described and undescribed taxa that occur in Australia because of their morphological similarities, have molecular and chemical profiles that are the same as those from overseas. This investigation is initiated to clearly elucidate the morphological and molecular status of the 'species' of Australia and provide a comprehensive taxonomy of the species from Australia and based on their combination of those two factors. Through the provision of clear identification and characterisation of these potentially useful species, studies into the development of this group of fungi for medicinal applications will be made easier and allow future researchers to more clearly target their investigations. The current study shows that the phenotypes of Psilocybe and morphologically similar genera have multiple evolutionary origins. All 96 samples were been identified morphologically and 88 of them genetically classified too. The results from this study will be of immense use to others working on the taxonomy of Psilocybe in other countries.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3108 Plant biology
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords Fungi; Psilocybe; NGS (Next Gene Sequencing); PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction); Marker; Geneious; GLC (Genealogical concordance)
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