Data from: Characterizing aeroallergens by infrared spectroscopy of fungal spores and pollen
Zimmermann, Boris; Tkalčec, Zdenko; Mešić, Armin; Kohler, Achim (2016), Data from: Characterizing aeroallergens by infrared spectroscopy of fungal spores and pollen, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.f4v0s
Background: Fungal spores and plant pollen cause respiratory diseases in susceptible individuals, such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Aeroallergen monitoring networks are an important part of treatment strategies, but unfortunately traditional analysis is time consuming and expensive. We have explored the use of infrared spectroscopy of pollen and spores for an inexpensive and rapid characterization of aeroallergens. Methodology: The study is based on measurement of spore and pollen samples by single reflectance attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (SR-ATR FTIR). The experimental set includes 71 spore (Basidiomycota) and 121 pollen (Pinales, Fagales and Poales) samples. Along with fresh basidiospores, the study has been conducted on the archived samples collected within the last 50 years. Results: The spectroscopic-based methodology enables clear spectral differentiation between pollen and spores, as well as the separation of confamiliar and congeneric species. In addition, the analysis of the scattering signals inherent in the infrared spectra indicates that the FTIR methodology offers indirect estimation of morphology of pollen and spores. The analysis of fresh and archived spores shows that chemical composition of spores is well preserved even after decades of storage, including the characteristic taxonomy-related signals. Therefore, biochemical analysis of fungal spores by FTIR could provide economical, reliable and timely methodologies for improving fungal taxonomy, as well as for fungal identification and monitoring. This proof of principle study shows the potential for using FTIR as a rapid tool in aeroallergen studies. In addition, the presented method is ready to be immediately implemented in biological and ecological studies for direct measurement of pollen and spores from flowers and sporocarps.