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Myxomycetes

Taxonomic fungal category. Slime molds.

Distribution

Ubiquitous;
cosmopolitan.
Approx. 45 genera.

Where Found

Decaying logs, stumps and dead leaves, particularly in forested regions.

Mode of Dissemination

These organisms have both dry and wet spores.
Wind disperses the dry fruiting body spores, whereas the wet amoebic phase is motile.

Allergen

Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).
(Lycogala used in one skin test survey.)

Potential Opportunist or Pathogen

No reports of human infection.

Potential Toxin Production

None.

Growth Indoors

Occasionally found indoors.

Industrial Uses

None known.

Other Comments

The myxomycetes have an interesting life cycle which includes a wet spore phase and a dry spore phase. When conditions are favorable, they move about like amoebae, resembling primitive animals. When conditons are not favorable they form a resting body (sclerotium) with dry, airborne spores. The myxomycetes are not considered to be true fungi.

Used with permission from EMLab P&K

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