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Bacteria decomposing cucumber. Coloured scanning electron micrograph of bacteria covering the surface of a piece of decomposing cucumber on a compost heap. Compost is made by allowing a heap of vegetable trimmings, non-seeding weed plants and grass mowings to degrade. The resulting brown, crumbly compost is dug into soil to provide plants with nutrients. Here, only the cucumber material around the vascular bundles or veins (green) remains. The surface is covered by various saprophytic bacteria (pink and yellow). These bacteria feed on the dead cucumber, breaking it down into its constituent elements. Magnification: x2, 500 at 6x6cm size.
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