Melzer’s reagent (10mL)

£4.95 inc VAT

Melzer’s Reagent. An iodine-containing solution widely used for the staining of polysaccarides on spores and hyphae. Especially useful for the visualisation of ornamentation on Russula spores. Supplied in a glass bottle with spatula for accurate application.

Please note: we only deliver this item to the UK and Europe. Orders from the USA will be cancelled and refunded.



Melzer’s reagent was first described in 1924 by the mycologist Václav Melzer.

Melzer’s reagent – how to use

A simple preparation can be made by adding fungal tissue or spores to a drop of Melzer’s on a microscope slide. One of the following reactions will be seen with the naked eye.

1) Amyloid reaction – the material reacts blue to black.
2) Dextrinoid reaction – the material reacts brown to reddish-brown.
3) Inamyloid – the tissues do not change color, or react faintly yellow-brown.

The amyloid reaction, can be further subdivided into:

a) Euamyloid reaction – the material turns blue without potassium hydroxide (KOH)-pretreatment.
b) Hemiamyloid reaction – the material turns red in Lugol’s solution, but shows no reaction in Melzer’s reagent. When KOH-pretreated it turns blue in both reagents.

Baral H-O. 1987. Lugol’s solution/IKI versus Melzer’s reagent: Hemiamyloidity, a universal feature of the ascus wall. Mycotaxon 29:399–450.

Observation of spore ornamentation in Russula spores with Melzer’s reagent

Place a drop of reagent on a microscope slide. Scrape a barely visible amount of Russula spores on to the tip of a needle, toothpick or scalpel tip and mix with the reagent. Carefully place a coverslip over the solution, at a slight angle to avoid bubbles getting trapped, and observe at high magnification (x1000) using a biological micrscope.