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Morphology and Allergenic Properties of Basidiospores from Four Calvatia Species
Estelle Levetin, W. Elliott Horner and Samuel B. Lehrer
Vol. 84, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 1992), pp. 759-767
Published by: Mycological Society of America
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3760386
Page Count: 9
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Basidiospores of Calvatia cyathiformis have been identified in aerobiological studies, and spore extracts have demonstrated significant skin and radioallergosorbent test reactivity in sensitive patients. Although fruiting bodies of Calvatia craniiformis, C. rubroflava, and C. gigantea are also relatively common, basidiospores of these species cannot be specifically identified from the atmosphere. The present study compared the morphology and antigenic properties of basidiospores from these four Calvatia species. Electron microscopy showed that they all have globose spores 3-5 μm in diameter but each species has unique spore ornamentation. Only C. cyathiformis spores were sufficiently distinctive by light microscopy to be identifiable on air sampler slides. These spores occurred in the Tulsa atmosphere on 68% of the days during September and October. The allergenic properties were compared using radioallergosorbent test and radioallergosorbent test inhibition. Results indicate that C. rubroflava and C. craniiformis are potentially important aeroallergens. Protein patterns in these species differed from one another and from C. cyathiformis; however, common proteins were also present. Spore extracts of C. cyathiformis from two states were similar by isoelectric focusing but differed in allergenic activity. C. gigantea gave indiscernible protein patterns. These studies indicate that although Calvatia species demonstrate a number of similarities, there are distinctive structural and allergenic properties.
Mycologia © 1992 Mycological Society of America