There is enormous diversity of plant and fungi species on the planet. It can be difficult to tell species apart just by eye. One way to be certain what species you have is by analysing its DNA. Once we have received a sample tissue, we crush it which disrupts the cells making the DNA easier to extract.
In plants, we sequence and analyse two genes called rbcL and matK, both of which are found in chloroplasts of most photosynthetic organisms. Whereas in fungi, we sequence and analyse ITS1 and ITS2 sequences. These sequences are highly variable and surround the 5.8S section of ribosomal RNA. The final step is to compare the DNA sequences obtained from the sample against a database of reference sequences.