MARILYN SCHALLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARILYN SCHALLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Common bread mould. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of common bread mould (Rhizopus stolonifer). Rising above the filament-like hyphae which form the main body, or mycelium, of the fungus are sporangiophores with rounded sporangia on their tips. Once mature, the sporangia rupture, releasing their spores (sporangiospores). Any spores that land on a favourable medium germinate, producing hyphae which absorb food for growth and spore production. Rhizopus sp. are generally saprophytic, feeding on decaying animal and plant matter. However they can also be parasitic, feeding on living plants, animals and even humans. Magnification: x260 at 7.5x9 inch size.
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