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Collection, Identification and Preservation of Macrofungal species in the Sultanate of Oman

Macrofungi are fungi that form large fruiting bodies greater than 1 cm in height and/ or width (Redhead, 1997; Bates, 2006). They are visible without the aid of a microscope, which may be either epigenous or hypogenous (Mueller et al., 2007; Devi and Shrivastava, 2016).  It is estimated that the fungi species in the world is 1.5 million in which only 7.3 %( about 110,000 species) are macrofungi and most of them belong to Basidiomycota and Ascomycota (Mueller et al., 2007). Spring and autumn are the most seasons, which are rich with macrofungi species because of humid climate as well as the rich­ness of the flora. (Sibounnavong et al., 2008). However, during the monsoon (July–September) mountains around Dhofar are rain soaked, covered in fog and are favorable for many living organisms (Sale, 1980). In Oman fungi studies started in the late 19th century with collections made by European scientists. The first detailed survey of fungi in Oman was carried by Waller and Bridge (1978) with the publication ‘’Plant Diseases and Nematodes in the Sultanate of Oman’’ (AL-SADI, 2016). There are limited researches on biodiversity of macrofungal species in Oman. For example, most of the research about desert truffles was done with European and Australian truffles and very little is known in Gulf countries. (Al-Qarawi and Mridha, 2012).​


ObjectiveThe main aim of this project is to collect, identifying and preserving of macrofungi, which grow naturally in different area and different seasons in the Sultanate of Oman especially in monsoon season in Dhofar region.
Specific aims
  • 1. To establish the first collection and database of macrofungi in the Sultanate of Oman following standard collection methods.
  • 2. To complete molecular characterization study of Ganoderma species samples collected by College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University from different parts in Oman.
  • 3. To identify the taxonomically undetermined species of macrofungi using both morphological and molecular methods as well as the characterization.   
  • 4. To produce a catalogued and representative collection of properly preserved macrofungi specimens, by using standard preservation techniques.
  • 5. To publish scientific paper(s) on the outcomes

Step 1: Sample collection

Step 2: Identification (Morphological and Molecular)

Step 3: Preservation​ 

Project managementOman Animal & Plant Genetic Resources Center (OAPGRC), Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MECA)
Expected outcomesIdentification and preservation of the complete set of collected samples, Omani macrofungi gene bank and database establishment and scientific publication(s)