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What is Rhizopus?

Author: Admin Views: () Posted at 15/12/02

  Rhizopus is a genus of common saprophytic fungi on plants and specialized parasites on animals. They are found on a wide variety of organic substrates, including "mature fruits and vegetables", jellies, syrups, leather, bread, peanuts, and tobacco. Some Rhizopusspecies are opportunistic agents of human zygomycosis and can be fatal. Rhizopus infections may also be a complication of diabetic ketoacidosis.This widespread genus includes at least eight species.

  Rhizopus 400x magnificationRhizopus species grow as filamentous, branching hyphae that generally lack cross-walls .They reproduce by forming asexual and sexual spores. In asexual reproduction, sporangiospores are produced inside a spherical structure, thesporangium.

  Sporangia are supported by a large apophysate columella atop a long stalk, the sporangiophore. Sporangiophores arise among distinctive, root-like rhizoids. In sexual reproduction, a dark zygospore is produced at the point where two compatiblemycelia fuse. Upon germination, a zygospore produces colonies that are genetically different from either parent.

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