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Compost heap fungus. Coloured scanning electron micrograph of spores of the fungus Aspergillus glaucus found in a compost heap. Compost is made by stacking together in a heap plant remains such as vegetable trimmings, non-seeding weeds and grass mowings. The plant material degrades and the resulting brown crumbly product (compost) is dug in to enrich the soil. Aspergillus is a mould most often found growing on breads and jams. Here, chains of conidiospores (small, round) can be seen supported by a condiophore (stalk-like). When ripe conidiospores are easily dislodged by air currents or physical contact. Magnification: x700 at 6x7cm size.
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