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Spore category. Produced by mushrooms, puffballs, shelf fungi, rusts, smuts, and many other fungi.
Distribution Where Found Mode of Dissemination
Approx. 1,200 genera.
Saprophytes and plant pathogens.
Gardens, forests, woodlands.
Wind; spore release (active mechanism) during periods of high humidity or rain.
Allergen Potential Opportunist or Pathogen Potential Toxin Production
Probably common.
Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).
Type III hypersensitivity pneumonitis: Lycoperdonosis (puffball spores), Mushroom culture hypersensitivity.
Asexual forms may cause rare opportunistic infections.
The yeast Cryptococcus neoformans is a basidiomycete.
Mushroom toxicosis (poisoning) is usually a result of ingestion of the following toxins: amanitins, monomethyl-hydrazine, muscarine, ibotenic acid, psilocybin.
Growth Indoors Industrial Uses Other Comments
Serpula lacrimans, the agent of "dry rot," and other fungi causing white and brown wood rot, grow and destroy the structural wood of buildings. Poria incrassata causes a particularly destructive dry rot in buildings. Many mushrooms are edible, and very important in the food industries. Occasionally, a benign, non-wood rotting mushroom will fruit inside a building, growing in some unique ecological niche if enough moisture is present.
If mushrooms are found growing indoors we ask clients to submit the entire mushroom for identification.
Characteristics: Growth/Culture Notes on Spore Trap Recognition Notes on Tape Lift Recognition
Most Basidiomycetes will not fruit on laboratory media. Many will form arthrospores or sterile mycelia on laboratory media. Most basidiospores have a distinctive asymmetrical attachment point. Many basidiomycetes have recognizable spores. Serpula, the agent of dry rot, with tan-orange basidiospores, can sometimes be identified on spore trap slides. Except for the occasional finding of Serpula (above), basidiospores are rarely found on tape lifts, except as a part of normal influx of outdoor spores.

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