DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Thallus of a crustose lichen (Xanthoparmelia sp.). Small growth extensions are protruding from the main thallus surface (cortex). 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: x26 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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