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What kind of microscope and magnification would be suitable to study fungi characteristics like spore shape, hyphae, basidia, etc.
Various "myco" supply web sites sell everything from toy-like microscopes for 38$ up to professional ones for more than 1000$.
Does anybody have any experience with this?
For most everything fungal I've looked at, oil immersion is not necessary. That means a scope with a 40X lense [400X magnification with the 10X eyepiece] is sufficient to identify mold conidia. Visualizing clamp connections is something I've never done, so that might be an oil-immersion application.
**also, checking out spore shapes/characteristics is most definitely an oil-immersion application**
I only mention the oil immersion as such scopes are significantly more expensive than those with just a 40X upper range [oil immersion is necessary with most scopes at 100X, 1000X with optical].
If you are serious about this, you will want to purchase dyes. . .lactophenol/cotton blue is good for fungi; put a drop on a slide, take a piece of CLEAR tape, lightly touch the culture with the sticky side [keep biosafety in mind here], lightly place the tape sticky-down onto the dye, put another drop on the top of the tape, and place a coverslip overtop.
Visualize at 400X and you'll get something like this:
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