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Building Mycological Capacity for Sustainable Resource Management: Laboratory

The project addresses the lack of formal mycological expertise via a number of avenues. These include training workshops and the establishment of a National reference collection of mycological materials, including dried fungal collections. A basic molecular laboratory is also being established to allow the extraction and amplification of DNA from fungal materials. After some initial problems with getting a location, the establishment of the laboratory is on schedule.

The Dean of the Science Faculty at the National University of Laos, Dr Somchanh Bounphanmy, has been very supportive of the project and has allocated two rooms within the Department of Biology to house the molecular laboratory. Mark Newman and Andy Taylor helped prepare the labs for the equipment on one of the visits to Vientiane in 2015. A staff member of the Biology Department, Mrs Toulaphone Keokene, has also been given responsibility for overseeing the establishment and running of the laboratory. Mrs Keokene will also spend 10 weeks in Aberdeen in early 2016 being trained in molecular techniques. Laboratory equipment including freezers, fridges, microwaves, pipettes and specialised equipment (PCR machine, Electrophoresis and gel doc equipment, etc) have all been delivered to the University. A training course is planned in 2016 to transfer lab skills in DNA extraction and amplification.


Areas of Interest

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.