Freeze-Substitution of Fungi

  • Harvey C. Hoch


To critical cytologists, well-preserved cells are of the utmost importance. It is difficult, if not impossible, to accurately interpret cell structure and relate function to cell components if the cells have not been adequately preserved. For mycologists or cell biologists interested in fungal ultrastructure, cell preservation achieved with chemical fixatives at room temperatures has served as the basis for nearly all structural interpretations to date. Some fungi, particularly members of the Phycomycetes, appear to be preserved well enough with conventional fixation protocols that serious fixation artifacts are not usually recognized. Most members of the Ascomycotina and Basidiomycotina (and Fungi Imperfecti), in contrast, are not well fixed. The cytoplasm of these fungi often appears so muddled that one cannot easily distinguish between mitochondria, Golgi, and endoplasmic reticulum (cf. Brushaber and Jenkins, 1971; Hammill, 1974; Hoch, 1977a; Collinge and Markham, 1982; O’Donnell and McLaughlin, 1984). Unfortunately, mycological cytologists have become accustomed to this quality of preservation and too often either do not recognize the gross cytoplasmic distortions or tend to ignore such artifactual problems and interpret cell structure as best they can.


Cell Preservation Conventional Fixation Substitution Fluid Dewar Flask Stainless Steel Wire Mesh 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harvey C. Hoch
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Pathology Department New York State Agricultural Experiment StationCornell UniversityGenevaUSA

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