Microscopy is fun




Sooner or later (and probably sooner rather than later) you'll want to really examine the details of your fungi and you'll start thinking about using a microscope to do that. Here's how!


Copy freely for the classroom

Classroom materials may be copied freely for educational purposes only. All rights reserved for commercial use. British Mycological Society 2006.


In this series of articles, several very experienced mycologists offer advice on the best way to use a microscope to study fungi.

Choosing a microscope

Setting up the microscope, part 1

Setting up the microscope, part 2

Preparing specimens

Using Iodine-lactophenol

Using Congo Red

Photography through the microscope for absolute beginners


These are the formal references for the articles available in this section:

Evans, S. (2000). Choosing your first microscope. Field Mycology 1: 52-53.

Moss, M.O. (2000). Setting up the microscope, part 1. Field Mycology 1: 128-130.

Moss, M.O. (2003). Setting up the microscope, part 2. Field Mycology 4: 88-90.

McAdam, A. Preparing specimens for microscopy with jeweller's forceps. Field Mycology 5: 81-82.

Hawkswell, A. (2001). Iodine-lactophenol as a mycological mounting medium. Field Mycology 2: 12.

Emmett, E.E. (2003). Microscopical techniques - Congo Red. Field Mycology 4: 72-73.

Braddock, A. (2000). Photography through the microscope. A guide for absolute beginners. Field Mycology 1: 7-8

Dickson, G. (1989). Photographing fungi. 7. Mycologist 3: 37-38


If you want to see how the professionals do it we would suggest you get hold of a copy of Biology of Living Fungi which is a CD by Patrick D. Hickey and Nick D. Read. Published by the British Mycological Society, this CD is a compilation of movies that illustrate key aspects of the cell biology of living filamentous fungi obtained using fluorescence imaging and confocal microscopy. The CD features time-lapse sequences and 3D-reconstructions of fungal cells stained with fluorescent dyes and/or expressing Green Fluorescent Protein, photographs of fungi in their natural habitat and movies of bioluminescent mushrooms. This CD-ROM is a powerful educational tool to show the dynamic nature of fungal cells, but it also takes you into the world of the professional microscopist. The CD-ROM can be purchased from the Fungal Cell Biology Group website.


Also, try a visit to the Royal Microscopical Society website at www.rms.org.uk/.



Close the window to return to the home page

Fungi for Schools - an integrated  collection of teaching resources British Mycological Society 2005