DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Mucor sp. fruiting structure with spores. The fruiting structure (condiophore) has matured and its outer membrane is disintegrating allowing the spores (conidia) to be released. Mucor is a common fungus found in many environments. It is a Zygomycetes fungus which may be allergenic and is often found as saprobes in soils, dead plant material (such as hay), horse dung, and fruits. Mucor is in house dust, air samples, and old dirty carpets, especially in water damaged moist building materials. Accumulated dust in ventilation ducts may contain high concentrations of viable Mucor spores giving rise to allergic or asthmatic reactions. It is an opportunistic pathogen and may cause mucorosis in immunocompromised individuals. The sites of infections are the lung, nasal sinus, brain, eye, and skin. Magnification: x400 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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