A spreadsheet-based program (Good-Enough RFLP Matcher or GERM) is presented that matches unknown restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) patterns of ectomycorrhizal fungi to a database of known ectomycorrhizal fungi. The program uses three simple methods to determine whether a sample matches a known: (1) Forward Matching: whether every band in the unknown is present in a known sample within a given error range; (2) Backward Matching: whether every band in the known sample is present in the unknown within a given error range; (3) Sum of Bands: whether the sum of all bands in the known and unknown are similar within a given error range. The program is available through the web page of this journal.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgements T. Horton assisted with testing and improving this program. Major support was provided by an NSF LTER grant (NSF/DEB 0080382). This research was also supported in part by the University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.