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Open Life Sciences

formerly Central European Journal of Biology

Editor-in-Chief: Ratajczak, Mariusz

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Volume 8, Issue 5


Volume 10 (2015)

Investigation of the electrostatic charge of basidiospores of the Phellinus igniarius group

Maret Saar
  • Department of Botany, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, 51014, Tartu, Estonia
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Published Online: 2013-03-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11535-013-0152-y


The polarity and magnitude of primary electric charges carried by basidiospores in the airborne state were investigated in living fungal fruiting bodies under natural forest conditions using a portable experimental device designed by the author. The operating principle was the falling of spores in the homogeneous horizontal electric field. The vertical and horizontal components of the trajectories of the spores were determined according to their deposition sites on electrodes (vertical metal plates). Altogether 33 samples of spores were examined for polarity, 10 of these samples (with 104–106 spores per sample) also were used to calculate the mean spore charge-to-mass quotient and the mean spore charge. The detection limits of spore charge-to-mass quotient varied in the range from (4.9±2.3)×10−5 to (1.36±0.33)×10−4 C kg−1. Basidiospores (subglobose, smooth, diameter of 4–6 μm) of the closely related (sibling) species Phellinus alni, P. nigricans, P. populicola and P. tremulae (Hymenochaetales, Basidiomycota) carried positive electrical charges that have mean values from 48 to 305 elementary charges. The intraspecies variation of the spore charge could depend on the natural variation in spore size.

Keywords: Ballistospore; Charge/mass ratio; Charge-to-mass quotient; Electric charge; Hymenochaetales; Primary charge

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About the article

Published Online: 2013-03-07

Published in Print: 2013-03-01

Citation Information: Open Life Sciences, Volume 8, Issue 5, Pages 410–422, ISSN (Online) 2391-5412, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11535-013-0152-y.

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