DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Aspergillus sp. mould. The conidiophore (fruiting structure) is producing conidia (asexual spores). Aspergillus species are recognized by their distinct conidiophores (fruiting structures). The conidiophore occurs at the tip of specialized hypha that develops a vesicle which contains many nuclei. Numerous flask-shaped or tubular phialides (cells) develop from the vesicle surface. In this image the conidiophore is just beginning to develop the specialized phialides. The developing phialides will divide and produce chains of asexual spores (phialoconidia, conidia or spores). The spores come in several colours depending upon the species. Aspergillus species are found in soil, plant debris, humid environments and house dust. Certain species are allergenic or pathogenic to man. Magnification: x305 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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