Abuse of hallucinogens produced by the fungal genera Psilocybe and Panaeolus are a growing problem. Five species from each of the two genera were examined in this preliminary research and a method that will unambiguously identify fungal samples as being of one of these two genera has been developed. The method uses genus specific DNA sequences within the Internal Transcribed Spacer of the ribosomal gene complex. Amplification of a common DNA product and a genus specific product results in two identifiable products, which facilitates the unambiguous identification of material from these two fungi to generic level. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
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