Fungus, Aspergillus flavus

Fungus, Aspergillus flavus

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Caption: Aspergillus flavus. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the fungus Aspergillus flavus, an agent of liver cancer and aspergillosis. Here, the conidia (spores) are being produced by a fruiting body on the tip of a conidiophore. In the background are vegetative filaments, or hyphae. Found in soil, this fungus produces aflatoxin, a virulent toxin which can contaminate stored food, notably carbohydrates. Aflatoxin is known to induce human liver cancer. Aspergillus species cause aspergillosis, a respiratory infection in people with damaged lungs or weakened immune systems, which is sometimes fatal. Magnification unknown.

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