Thursday, February 21, 2013

Class on fungal recognition and identification

March 19 and March 20, 2013 - St. Paul, MN, USA Click here for registration information U of MN School of Public Health

This one and a half day training will provide you with an opportunity for concentrated skill development in recognizing and identifying fungi. Using intensive hands-on lab sessions, case studies and presentations, you will learn a systematic procedure for conducting critical analysis of spores in both aerosol samples and in bulk cultures. You will receive one-on-one instruction in laboratory sessions using microscopes to identify fungal samples. You will also receive a photo disk of cultures and the textbook identifying Filamentous Fungi to use for future reference.


1. Describe proper procedures for microscopic examination and identification of selected fungi.

2. Discuss a range of fungal types and potential human health effects.

3. Correctly identify selected fungi under the microscope from both air samples and cultures

Instructors: Neil Carlson and Kelly Mullane

Friday, February 8, 2013

Stachybotrys spp.

The mold, Stachybotrys spp. does not grow well on DG-18  as it needs a higher moisture content.  It has somewhat restrictive growth  on MEA and PDA. When a colony of Stachybotrys spp. is growing in a damp environment the spores are held together in a mass at the top of the conidiophore and do not release well into the environment.  When the spores are dry they are able to be more readily released usually with the help of mechanical forces.

The organism prefers to grow on wet cellulose material.  It prefers an area that has repeated intermittent water damage.  It is often found on a ceiling tile underneath an intermittent roof or  plumbing leak.

The spores are typically approximately 10 -13 microns long by 4 to 5 microns wide.  These spores will settle out rather quickly in the environment and much faster than Aspergillus spp. or Penicillium spp. spores.  Because of this, lower counts of this organism will trigger an investigation to find the source in the environment.

Air-o-cell cassettes or spore trap samplers will work well for sampling Stachybotrys spp. in the environment.  The spore shape (a miniature rugby football) and its dark graphite color make it easy to identify directly under the microscope. 

Stachybotrys spp. dissecting scope  low power
Stachybotrys spp. growing in culture
Stachybotrys spp. growing on paper from sheetrock.
Stachybotrys spp. conidiophore in culture 400x each division is 2.5 microns wide
Stachybotrys spp. spores on a spore trape (Air-o-cell cassette) sample

IAQ video network - Stachybotrys chartarum facts.
Life cycle of Stachybotrys video

Friday, February 1, 2013

Hans Rosling: Facts Based World View

Hans Rosling - Facts based world view talk at 2011 Momentum Conference at U of Minnesota

Future talks from Ensia are coming to the Ted Mann conference in March and April, 2013.