Soil fungus (Trichoderma sp.), SEM

Soil fungus (Trichoderma sp.), SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Soil fungus condiophore and conidia (Trichoderma sp.). Trichoderma is a mould that is a widespread saprobe in temperate to tropical areas commonly found in soil and wood. This soil fungus is involved in decomposition of plant material and readily degrades cellulose. Inhalation of the conidia or the microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOC) may cause symptoms similar to those of Stachybotrys reactions. It has been know to cause lung infections and peritonitis. Some species are considered to be parasitic on other fungi; they can grow towards hyphae of other fungi, coil about them in a lectin-mediated reaction and degrade cell walls of the target fungi. This process (mycoparasitism) limits growth and activity of plant pathogenic fungi. This antagonistic behaviour has led to their use as agents of biological control of some fungi causing plant disease. Magnification: x1,400 when shortest axis printed at 25

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