Species-specific identification of the major cooked and fresh poisonous mushrooms in Japan was performed using a real-time PCR system. Specific fluorescence signals were detected, and no nonspecific signals were detected. Therefore, we succeeded in developing a species-specific test for the identification of poisonous mushrooms within 1.5 h.
The interest in wild mushrooms and the number of people who collect wild mushrooms for the table are increasing rapidly. Numerousinquiries are received by the botany department of the University of Illinois each season concerning the identification and edibility of various species. At the same time, whenever there is a good mushroom season, the newspapers report an increasing number of cases of mushroom poisoning. These facts indicate the great desirability of a wider dissemination of the knowledge necessary to distinguish intelligentlythe common edible and poisonous mushrooms. It was with these facts in mind that it was decided to prepare, for the people of the state, photographs and descriptions of a limited number of species, in the hope that it might help our friends to make use of the abundance of excellent food material that annually goes to waste in the fields and woods, without risking their lives in the act.