DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sporangiophores of Rhizopus stolonifer, growing from the surface of a sundried tomato. R. stolonifer is a common Zygomycete fungus. The picture shows thin vertical filaments ( sporangiophores ), 1-2cm in length, that terminate in a black spherical sporangium. Each sporangium is approximately 0.3mm in diameter, and contains thousands of asexual spores that are released into the air and may produce new colonies.Rhizopus species are widespread food spoilage organisms. R. stolonifer infects many fruits and is commonly known as bread mould. Exposed food can easily become infected during storage, even if refrigerated. Rhizopus species are used commercially in the production of food products (tempeh), alcoholic beverages such as saki, and medical products (cortisone).
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