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Distribution:

Common Worldwide


Found:

Outdoors from fungi in gardens, forests, and woodlands. 

Indoors they are rarely found, however in certain conditions they can grow.

Basidiospores are spores produced by Kingdom Fungi in the division Basidiomycota. There are three classes, Basidiomycetes (mushrooms), Teliomycetes (rusts), and Ustomycetes (smuts). There is around 30,000 described species belonging to Basidiomycota. Basidiospores are moisture driven with their spores disseminating during rain or in high humidity climates. 


Basidiospores have fruiting bodies which produce microscopic spores. 


It is more common to find an increase of Basidiospores in the spring or late summer, however the highest counts are normally in fall. 


Basidiospores are dispersed mainly through the wind, and once they are released passively (puffballs) or forcibly (mushrooms) they are able to stay airborne for long distance's.  However, Basidiospores can also be transferred by insects, animals, and water. 


Although Basidiospores are usually found on any outdoor organic matter, they are occasionally found indoors in potted plants, bathrooms, carpeting, textiles, walls, substrates, or anything made of wood. 


When Basidiospores encounter favorable conditions, they may germinate, typically by forming a hyphae (a long branching filamentous structure of a fungus).  These hyphae grow outward from the original spore, forming an expanding circle. In some cases Basidiospores can germinate repetitively by forming small spores instead of hyphae. 


When sampling shows a higher level of spores indoors, this typically indicates the possibility of water damage or fungal contamination within the building. 


Basidiospores often produce microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC's) that give a distinctive, heavy, musty odor. 


There are possible health effects associated with exposure to high levels of Basidiospores such as:

  • Asthma
  • Eczema
  •  Fatigue
  •  Runny nose
  •  Sneezing
  •  Stuffy nose
  •  Plugged or full feeling ears
  •  Itchy eyes, nose, ear canal, or skin. 



References:

Basidiomycota

Basidiospores

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