What Do You Know About Rhizopus?


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It is a common black bread mold. It is found growing on bread, pickles, other food and also leather materials because its spores are always found every where in the air. Such fungi (umbrella shaped mushroom) are commonly called molds. Mycelium (a group of hyphae which may be septate or non septate) of rhizopus consists of many tubular, non-septate and coenocytic hyphae. The hyphal wall contains chitin.

The cytoplasm contains many nuclei, vacuoles and fat droplets. In rhizopus, three types of hyphae are found. Stolons are the hyphae which spread along the surface of the substrate on which the fungus grows. Rhizoidal hyphae penetrate the substrate, spread within, break down the food into simpler substances with the help of enzymes they secrete, and absorb the digested food material.

Sporangiophores are vertical hyphae which bear sporangia at their tips. A single, rounded sac like black sporangium is formed at the tip of each sporangiophore. A very large number of small sized and light weight but tough and resistant spores are produced inside each sporangium. Spores are dispersed by the wind.

When the spores are land on a suitable place (substrate), they germinate, giving rise to new fungal mycelium. Rhizopus also produced by sexual production.

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