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Rust fungus. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the fruiting bodies (reproductive structures) of the rust fungus Gymnosporangium sabinae, on a pear tree leaf. The fruiting bodies are seen covered in reproductive cells (spores, red). Rusts are parasitic fungi that cause some of the most destructive plant diseases. The disease appears as numerous rusty, orange spots that rupture the epidermal layers of the leaves. The fungus rarely causes the tree to die but it greatly reduces its ability to photosynthesize (produce food from sunlight), often leading to severely reduced yields. Magnification: x13 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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