CREIT: DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CREIT: DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of dry rot in a piece of domestic plywood (probably birch). This is a longitudinal section of the stem which shows the thickening on a large fractured vessel. Dry rot is a fungus (Serpula lachrymans) which infects damp timber. As the fungal network, or mycelium, grows, it destroys the cellulose in the wood & weakens its structure, thus causing fractures. The mycelium consists of thin strands known as hyphae, some of which are visible here. The micrograph shows the structure of the wood; the large cylindrical cells are xylem vessels, while the smaller ones are xylem parenchyma. Magnification: X 500 (at 10x8 inch size).
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