GERD GUENTHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GERD GUENTHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nostoc cyanobacteria, spherical colonies. Micrograph of a mass of Nostoc sp. filamentous cyanobacteria found on the surface of soil. Nostoc algae have the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen in specialized cells, the heterocytes, thereby playing a major role in soil fertility. Nostoc is frequently abundant in flooded rice paddies, where it contributes to the fertilization of some 2 million hectares. They have a wide distribution and are commonly found in soil and on mud, rocks and plants. Microscopic contrast technique : Differential interference contrast. Magnification: 100x when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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