MARILYN SCHALLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARILYN SCHALLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Common bread mould. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of common bread mould (Rhizopus stolonifer). Two spore-producing sporangia are seen on the ends of the filament-like sporangiophores that rise up from the main body, or mycelium, of the fungus. Another sporangium is seen at bottom centre. Once mature, the sporangia rupture (as at upper right), releasing their spores (sporangiospores). Any spores that land on a favourable medium germinate, producing hyphae which absorb food. Rhizopus sp. are usually saprophytic, feeding on decaying matter. However they can also be parasitic, feeding on living plants, animals and even humans. Magnification: x670 at 7x9.5 inch size.
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