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Fruticose lichen (Usnea sp.), SEM

Fruticose lichen (Usnea sp.), SEM

C032/2919

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Credit

DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Thallus of a filamentous fruticose lichen (Usnea sp.). A small branch is protruding from the edge of the main thallus. Lichens are associations of fungi and algae. The fungi and algae grow with their tissues intimately entwined. The fungi receive sugars and other carbon compounds from the algae. The fungi produce lichen acids which are a mixture of special chemicals that are thought to protect both fungi and algae from being eaten by predators. Mutualistic or symbiotic relationship. Magnification: x140 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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