Microbiology is a fascinating field of study, even if you’re not involved in the field in a professional capacity – in fact, if you’ve studied mushroom spores or mycelium spores already on our blog you’ve indeed studied facets of microbiology already!

Mushroom Mycelium, Mycology Background & Microbiology

What is Mycology?

Mycology is the study of fungi.

Mycelium mushroom benefits

Scientists who study fungi are called mycologists. You don’t have to do anything special to become an amateur mycologist—passion and a fascination for fungi is enough!

➢ Read about Fungi from the Microbiology Society.

Professional mycologists engage in mycological studies in many different ways. Some mycologists are interested in how fungi can help the environment, for example. These mycologists are likely interested in a process called mycoremediation, in which fungi is used to help decompose or deteriorate traditionally resistant materials in the environment, such as plastics or oils.

Other mycologists may be interested in the medicinal uses for mushrooms in all their multivariate forms. These mycologists may work with or have some overlap with nutritionists, healthcare providers, and even psychologists in the case of special mushrooms.

Still more mycologists may be interested in fungi for the role it played in history and the formation of our ecosystem. Mushrooms are an ancient lifeform which predate humankind (and yet, interestingly, share far more in common at a DNA-level with humans than they do with plants).

➢ Some believe that Fungi may even have come from space.

Mushroom Microbiology

A major part of mycology is another field of study called microbiology. What is microbiology and how is it related to the study of fungi?

➢ Learn about mushroom microbiology from ArtisMycropia – Mushrooms: Smart Spore Spreaders

What is Microbiology, and is it the Same as Mycology?

Mycelium examples

What is Microbiology?

Microbiology is a very wide field of scientific study, because it concerns the study of microorganisms. Microorganisms are any living organism too small to be seen by the naked eye.

The study of microbiology can include creatures such as:

  • Bacteria
  • Algae
  • Various protozoa
  • Viruses
  • Fungi

What is the Fruiting Body in Mushrooms?

You may be thinking that fungi isn’t microscopic. Some mushrooms are huge! However, the visible mushroom that you can see is actually called a fruiting body and is only one component of the fungi, which is in fact primarily made up of mycelium. In the next section, we’ll talk more about mycelium and how it works.

Microbiology Plays An Important Role in Mycology

The other reason microbiology plays an important role in mycology is because of the existence of fungal spores. Fungal spores are the reproductive elements of fungi. They’re tiny particles not visible to the eye which propagate the fungi. The fruiting body of a fungi—the mushroom, as it’s more commonly known—is in fact something of a reproductive organ, as it is this part of the fungi which releases spores.

Spores are designed to be carried away from the mushroom, either by the wind or by other means. Once released, the spores will enter the ground or a suitable substrate (any medium which promotes growth) and then start to form what mycologists call mycelium.

What is Mycelium in Mushroom Science?

Mycelium is best understood as a mass of fibers; it is the branching, spiderweb-like vegetative portion of a fungus which spreads throughout a substrate to gather nutrients and produce the reproductive fruiting bodies which we call mushrooms.

Mushrooms are the visible part of fungi—the mycelium typically grows underground or on the surface of a substrate, and can extend for hundreds of yards (and in some cases miles). It is the larger and arguably most interesting portion of the fungal organism, and thus plays a massive role in mushroom science, which as we’ve established is a field of study called mycology.

Mycelium mushroom spores

Where Can I Get Mycology Supplies Like A Mushroom Spores Microscope?

The kind of mycology supplies you need to begin amateur study within this fascinating field really depends on what it is you want to accomplish. Study can begin in one’s own back yard, typically in a shaded area and perhaps after a good rain—mushrooms can often be found, identified, and cataloged in this manner.

However, if your interest is in the microbiological aspect of fungi, that is to say, the spores, an excellent investment is in a mushroom spores microscope.

Spores are microbes can’t be seen with the naked eye and require a powerful microscope as used in microscopy for the serious researcher, but a decent consumer-grade mycology microscope can be used for a satisfactory effect. We prepared an extensive guide on how to get started in mushroom microscopy and it should serve as an excellent starting point.

Mushroom Spores Are Legal For Microbiologists, Microscopists, And At-Home Amateur Researchers

If you’re interested in studying mushroom spores under a microscope, some of the most popular spores are actually from mushrooms. These spores are completely legal to purchase and possess in most states (however, they are still at the time of this writing illegal to cultivate in the vast majority of areas).

Are there mushrooms legal states? For comprehensive answers read about mushroom laws by state for in-depth analysis on mushroom spores legality.

Diverse Mushroom Strains and Effects Are Fascinating for Diversity, Study & Research

The reason these mushroom spores are so wildly popular with microbiologists, microscopists, taxonomists, and mycologists is because mushrooms have so many different strains yielding diverse mushroom strains and effects; it’s a taxonomist’s dream come true. If you’d like to learn more about how to get started in this fascinating field of mycology, we recommend reading our completely free eBook, available here: