Black mould Aspergillus niger, SEM

Black mould Aspergillus niger, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the black mould Aspergillus niger - fruiting structure and spores. Aspergillus niger is a ubiquitous soil fungus that is commonly found in indoor environments, where its black colonies can be confused with those of Stachybotrys spp. The conidiophore (fruiting structure) is the swollen end of a hyphae (the fungal vegetative structure) from which radiate numerous sterigmata (short lengths of narrow hyphae) ending in short chains of conidia (spores). Aspergillus species are common saprophytic moulds that grow in household dust, soil, and decaying vegetable matter, including stale food. Some species cause a variety of diseases in humans, including: otomycosis, a chronic fungal growth of the passage into the ear; allergic aspergillosis, a hypersensitive reaction (lung disease) provoked by repeated inhalation of Aspergillus spores. Magnification: x300 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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