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Nematode capturing fungi

Nematode capturing fungi

B250/0538

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Credit

BIOPHOTO ASSOCIATES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BIOPHOTO ASSOCIATES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

False-colour scanning electron micrograph of the predatory nematophagous fungus, Arthrobotrys oligospora, which captures nematode worms using an adhesive net composed of raised loops formed from recurved lateral branches of its hyphae. A number of the loops, used to ensnare the worm, are visible in this picture, along with the delicate- looking adhesive matrix which binds to the surface of the prey. Once the worm has been immobilised death soon follows; precipitated, it is thought, by the action of toxins secreted by the fungus. Finally the fungus pierces the worm with a haustorium, a specialised hypha, and consumes the body contents. Magnification: x360 at 35mm size.

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