DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Rhizoctonia solani. R. solani is a plant pathogen with a wide host range and worldwide distribution. Seen here is the hyphal stage (mycelial stage) with numerous branching filaments. R. solani can cause damping off, which is a cause of seedling death. It commonly affects important agricultural crops such as cotton, tobacco, soybean, rice and potato. R. solani does not produce asexual spores (conidia), thus it is identified only from hyphal and mycelial characteristics. It does occasionally having a sexual stage (teleomorph) that produces fruiting structures and basidiospores. Rhizoctonia species also produce specialized hyphae composed of compact cells called monilioid cells. The monilioid cells fuse together to produce hard structures called sclerotia, which are resistant to environmental extremes, allowing the fungus to survive adverse conditions. Magnification: x440 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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