Valley Life Sciences Building

The Mishler Lab is located in the completely renovated Valley Life Sciences Building located centrally on the UC Berkeley campus. The complete renovation of this building cost $130 million; it contains the Department of Integrative Biology (in which Mishler is a faculty member), the Biological Science Library, and three independent collections: the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, the Museum of Paleontology, and the new quarters of the University and Jepson Herbaria (room 1301). Space for the Herbaria has increased from approximately 18,200 sq.ft. in the old LSB to 25,9000 sq.ft. in the new VLSB. Since the collection is now compactorized, the Herbaria's space increase has allowed the inclusion of greater laboratory space. A joint facility, the fully equipped Molecular Phylogenetics Laboratory, was set-up jointly by the Herbaria and the Museum of Paleontology. Mishler (and his graduate students) occupy a new, spacious (1500 sq.ft.) research lab suite on the fourth floor (room 4156). Well equipped research space is available for visitors and the collaborators. There is one of the largest biological sciences libraries in the country in VLSB, as well as Norris's and Mishler's personal bryophyte libraries. The Herbaria have their own floristic and systematic libary, and own a comprehensive map collection. Thus, extensive, brand-new space and facilities are available to support virtually any research activity.

The UC bryophyte collection

The basis of the UC bryological collection was formed by the liverworts and mosses collected by M. A. Howe and F. T. Bioletti in the early 1890's, vouchers for Howe's "Hepatics and Anthocerotes of California". Exchange specimens included bryophytes collected by Bolander as part of the California Geological Survey, mosses from Mrs. E. G. Britton and C. E. Cummings, and exsiccatae such as Grout's "North American Musci Pleurocarpi". Further acquisitions include California collections of hepatics and mosses donated by various other botanists. In addition to California, the herbarium encompasses a broad selection of specimens from Canada, northern and central Europe, Japan, western South America, Burma, Central America, and the West Indies.

Dr. Daniel Norris has recently (1993) given his personal herbarium of about 85,000 botanical specimens (mainly bryophytes), collected in a number of regions around the world during the period 1955 to present, to the University. This fine collection, representing as it does more than a 200% increase in size of the existing bryophyte collection in the University Herbarium, is an extremely valuable addition. Using primarily graduate student's labor (notably Clayton Newberry), Norris's specimens have been integrated into the existing UC bryophyte collection, and all 120,000 specimens have been curated into a new, uniform system. The old filing system of sheets and loose packets has been replaced with new standard box-folders for better protection and space savings. We are currently working on further curating this collection: while most packets bear suitable labels, the paper previously used for packets is not of particularly high quality, and thus the collection needs to be largely repacketed.

DNA sequencing facilities

Facilities are available in the Mishler Lab itself for pre-PCR DNA work. Extractions are prepared here using two fume hoods, - 20°C freezer, refrigerator, Fisher waterbath, Dupont Sorvall and a MC12V microcentrifuge. Once PCR reactions are set up, we move to the Molecular Phylogenetics Laboratory (where Mishler is one of four co-PIs) for amplification and sequencing.

The Molecular Phylogenetics Laboratory is located in a two-room suite (rooms 1123 and 1125) on the first floor of the Valley Life Sciences Building near the Herbarium, and is a joint venture of the University and Jepson Herbaria with the Museum of Paleontology. The MPL is equipped for all major molecular systematic techniques. That facility includes a Perkin Elmer 377 DNA Automated Sequencer, 2 Perkin Elmer Gene Amp PCR Systems, Stratagene Eagle Eye Gel Imaging System, Savant Speed Vac System, Sorvall MC12V microcentrifuge, 3 VWR heatblocks,-20°C freezer, -80°C freezer, and a 4°C refrigerator.

Microscope Facilities and Photography

The Mishler lab has four Leica MZ6 dissecting microscopes and four Leitz LaborLux compound microscopes suitable for specimen examinations and culturing work. For photography and image analysis, the Mishler lab also has a Leica Wild MZ8 dissecting microcope and a Leica DMRB compound microscope equipped with filters and condensers for contrast images, including darkfield, phase, polarization and differential interference. These microscopes are also equipped with a camera and a photoautomat for film, as well as a video camera and monitor. Image analysis of light microscopy is completed with a dedicated Macintosh PowerMac 7130/80AV computer. Two darkrooms are available in the department. An environmental SEM facility is maintained by the University Museum of Paleontology and is available for our use.

Culture Facilities

The Mishler lab includes a Conviron TC16 growth chamber, a laminar flow hood, Corning 355 Ph meter, two Mettler balances (a PB3002 and an AG104), and miscellaneous supplies, equipment, chemicals, and glassware. Six additional Conviron E15 growth chambers are available in the Integrative Biology departmental growth chamber facility. Both growth chamber models have approximately 1.5 m2 of shelf area. All of the growth chambers were purchased in 1994 and are in good working condition.

Data Analysis

The Mishler lab has five Macintosh computers equipped with software for word processing (Word), document management (Pagemaker), data handling (Excel), statistical analysis (Systat and SAS), sequence analysis (Sequence Navigator and Macaw), phylogenetic analysis (MacClade, PAUP, and PHYLIP), image analysis (NIH system package), and presentation (PowerPoint). In addition, the Mishler lab is authorized to utilize test versions of PAUP* (distributed by D. Swofford, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana).

Greenhouse Facilities

There is adequate bench space available for our research use in the greenhouses at the UC Botanical Garden.