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Myxomycetes

Taxonomic fungal category. Slime molds.
Distribution Where Found Mode of Dissemination
Ubiquitous;
cosmopolitan.
Approx. 45 genera.
Decaying logs, stumps and dead leaves, particularly in forested regions. These organisms have both dry and wet spores.
Wind disperses the dry fruiting body spores, whereas the wet amoebic phase is motile.
Allergen Potential Opportunist or Pathogen Potential Toxin Production
Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).
(Lycogala used in one skin test survey.)
No reports of human infection. None.
Growth Indoors Industrial Uses Other Comments
Occasionally found indoors. None known. The myxomycetes have an interesting life cycle which includes a wet spore phase and a dry spore phase. When conditions are favorable, they move about like amoebae, resembling primitive animals. When conditons are not favorable they form a resting body (sclerotium) with dry, airborne spores. The myxomycetes are not considered to be true fungi.
Characteristics: Growth/Culture Notes on Spore Trap Recognition Notes on Tape Lift Recognition
The myxomycetes do not grow on general fungal media. While a few are distinctive, many of the myxomycete spores are difficult to distinguish from the smuts. These spores are placed in our group "smuts, myxomycetes, Periconia," due to their similar "round, brown" morphology. Occasionally seen and identified on tape lifts. Distinctive especially when fragments of the lacy fruiting bodies are present.
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