Detailed instructions for mushroom microscopy

microscope

(WikiCommons)

The well-known mycologist Alan Rockefeller stated today on Facebook that “The best link on the internet for fungal microscopy, far better than any book in print, is:

Notes on Microscopy & How to Get Started

I hurried to look it over, as this is something I’m developing an interest in, and the page is indeed phenomenally informative and well-illustrated. There is so much information that it is actually rather daunting. It’s a whole new dimension to the hobby that I hope to take up someday, and now I think I have discovered the canonical resource for doing so.

Unfortunately, light microscopy may soon become something of an antiquated lost art. Electron microscopy was already making great inroads on its territory, and more recently, DNA sequencing is progressing rapidly and threatening to supplant microscopy as the definitive method of mycologic taxonomy.

Sadly, this means another fork in the road separating the scientifically-minded amateur from the professional mycologist with an expensive laboratory, but in the spirit of the yachting types who cling to sailboats and sextants in an era of internal combustion engines and GPS, I think it still is something worth learning. At least I have a DEA registration that will allow me to get my hands on some chloral hydrate to make Melzer’s reagent….

About Christopher May

Chris is a radiologist in private practice in Scottsdale. He is married to Barbara May, with two grown children, Megan and Nick.
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