What’s in the Air? – Fungi

 

People often think that the air we breath is relatively benign, but the reality could not be further from the truth. The air we breath is almost in itself another world which contains millions of microorganisms including fungi. Fungi is a microorganism which is ubiquitous around the world and for most people does not present a significant issue, however once allergies and / or immunosuppression kicks in it can become a bigger issue.

The following images are of AGAR plates, the red plates are what is known as Blood Agar which typically grows fastidious bacteria and some fungi because of the variety of complex nutrients found in blood, whilst the other plates are either Nutrient Agar or Malt Extract Agar Plates.

The Agar plates where you can see colonies were taken with a Nikon D5300 camera, and a Sigma 150mm Macro whilst the microscope images were taken with my Nikon D5300 and the Microscope setup listed on my blog here.

The samples were collected using a tool known as an Anderson sampler, which is basically a specialised vacuum that pulls air into a chamber with the Agar plate in it, the momentum of the flow of air means that particles in the air impact on the plate whilst the air flows around the plate and then what impacted on the plate has the chance to grow into a colony.

The four images below are a microscopic analysis of some of the colonies, however, my isolation has been done fairly poorly so most of the microscopic images show only significant spore numbers from the Agar Plates. Spores are essentially microscopic particles that allow fungi to reproduce, must like seeds in the plant world.

Not all fungi is bad, and if you enjoy blue cheese then you have enjoyed the work of Fungi :).

 

 

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