Soil fungus Exophiala spinifera, SEM

Soil fungus Exophiala spinifera, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Exophiala spinifera is a dermatiaceous fungus that is widely distributed in soil, plants, water and decaying wood material. E. spinifera initially grows as yeast-like cells that are brownish to greenish-black in colour. The yeast colonies then develop compact hyphae which form a velvety mycelium. The mycelium develops short tufts of aerial hyphae (shown here). As well as being a common saprophyte in nature, Exophiala spinifera can cause various human subcutaneous infections including: mycetoma, cutaneous phaeohyphomycosis and chromoblastomycosis. These infections are often associated with organ transplants. Magnification: x400 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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