University of Hertfordshire


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Original languageEnglish
Article number000292
Number of pages4
JournalAccess Microbiology
Early online date30 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2021


Sheaffer blue ink is an effective method to stain arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in a variety of plant species. It has, however, received criticism for its potential rapid degradation and short-term viability. The long and medium term storage and viability of stained samples has not, to date, been described for this particular staining method. This short communication reports on the viability of 730 samples stained with Sheaffer® blue ink stored for the duration of four years in microscope slide boxes out of direct sunlight. There was no significant difference in micrograph image quality and presence of stain between years as indicated by the number of AM fungal structures quantified. In conclusion Sheaffer® blue ink stain does not deteriorate in the medium term.


© 2021 The Authors. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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