SIDNEY MOULDS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SIDNEY MOULDS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pin mould Mucor sp. growing on a rotting tomato. The mould originates as spores which are carried by the air. Where these spores settle on damaged food, they germinate producing a mass of filamentary hyphae. The hyphae penetrate the food to obtain nourishment, and create an indistinct whitish mass called the mycelium (seen here). Eventually, specialised hyphae grow from the mycelium creating erect stalks, at the top of which grow the fruiting bodies (sporangia). In this genus, the mature sporangia is dark grey. After a short while, the sporangial wall ruptures, releasing new spores into the air.
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