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Identification of fungi (where to start?)

About microscopic forms of life, including Bacteria, Archea, protozoans, algae and fungi. Topics relating to viruses, viroids and prions also belong here.

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Identification of fungi (where to start?)

Postby stopherlogic » Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:50 pm

What stains tests etc would you use to differentiate types of fungi?
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Re: Identification of fungi (where to start?)

Postby JorgeLobo » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:26 pm

Generally there are no stain that are useful in indentifying fungi. There are some physiologic tests that are useful for yeasts isolated in clinical settings but identification of mycelial fungi requries alkot of training.
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Postby stopherlogic » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:37 pm

Thanks for the reply, unfortunately its something I need to be able to do to an extent. Hopefully I will be able to somehow identify down to genera level even if not species level.
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Re: Identification of fungi (where to start?)

Postby JorgeLobo » Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:23 pm

It's not hard to identify the most commonly encountered imperfect genera such as Penicillium, Aspergillus, Paecilomyces, etc. However the methods to obtain specimens for id is something you'll need help from some experienced person.

there is a commercial semiautomated system for mycelial fungal id - Biolog.
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Postby stopherlogic » Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:12 pm

Thank you, do you know of any decent lab manuals/books with mycology identification methods. There doesn't seem to be a lot out there whereas there is an abundance of bacterial identification texts.
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Re: Identification of fungi (where to start?)

Postby JorgeLobo » Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:19 pm

there a number of good ones - many from the 40's and 50's. I'd look for one at the used book store.
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Re: Identification of fungi (where to start?)

Postby misterzed » Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:55 am

I've been lead to understand differentiating between many is next to impossible, even for an experienced mycologist, without examining spores and spore bearing structures. This tends to be the most effective method.
Although this depends what kinds of fungi your dealing with.

What you really need is a "key" (or if you can't get a key a guide might just about do) may be difficult to get hold of one easily though.

Good luck
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Re: Identification of fungi (where to start?)

Postby JorgeLobo » Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:07 am

Yes, difficult between species - not so much so between genera.
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Postby stopherlogic » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:49 pm

I managed to get hold of a copy of "Identifying filamentous fungi" by Guy St-Germain. Looks to be a very good book for what I need.
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