EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Microorganisms decomposing melon. Colour scanning electron micrograph of bacteria and fungi on the surface of a piece of decomposing melon in 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. Saprophytic bacteria and fungi play an important role in the degradation. After just one day on the heap a budding yeast cell (long, green) and numerous rod- shaped bacteria (small, red) can be seen. These microorganisms feed on the dead melon, breaking it down. Magnification: x1,500 at 6x6cm size.
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