Viewing mushroom strucutres under foldscope-#Indiafoldscopephase 1

  • Soumitra Banerjee

Mushroom bought from a local shop in bangalore was observed for its microscopic strucuters under foldscope .

A very thin scalp from the skin of the cap was removed using a sharp razor blade and mounted on a slide to view under foldscope. There are two basic cuticle structures, one is Cellular – where the cap cuticle is composed of more or less spherical elements, arranged in a palisade across the cap and the other is Filamentous – where the cap cuticle is composed of horizontally arranged filamentous hyphae.  Here we observed the filamentous type structure of cap cuticle.


Fig: Cross section of pileus(cap) of mushroom with septate hyphae.

Slide was prepared for stem section also as similar to cap and viewed under foldscope. Similar kind of filamentous structure was observed.


Fig: Cross section of stem of mushroom

Mushroom belongs to the group basidiomycota and usually produces asexual spores called basidiospores. To view the spores, spore print was made. Stem of a mushroom was cut even with the cap and placed on a glass microscope slide with the underside down (as much of it as will fit). Whole thing was covered with a beaker and left for overnight. The cap will drop its spores on the slide overnight.

Fig: Spore print

Then spores were placed on slide and observed under foldscope. Spores vary in shape from globose to ellipsoid, from limoniform (lemon shaped) to reniform (kidney shaped) or lacrymoid (tear shaped), they can be strangulated in the centre or shaped like a bullet. We observed eliptical or oval shaped black lined spores.


Fig: Basidiospores of mushroom under foldscope

Gills seen on the underside of the cap. Spores are produced and released from the gills. For viewing gill, single gill was cut using a razor blade, excess cap material and the end sections was removed and very thin slices were made. This was mounted using water and coverslip then observed under foldscope. Filamentous hyphae are aligned into four basic patterns in the central part of the gills i.e. regular, irregular, divergent and inverse grill trama.  Here we observed regular gill trama structures, consists of many layers of parallely arranged interwoven hyphae, with basidium cells at the terminal layer.


Fig: Thin section of gill with basidial cells at the terminal end

Fig: Cross section of single gill which is showing basidia and basidiospores


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