Rhizopus stolonifer

R. stolonifer is a threadlike mold and a heterotrophic species; it is dependant on sugar or starch for its source of carbon substances for food. It uses food matter, generally breads or soft fruits, like grapes or strawberries, as a food source for growth, nutrition and reproduction. R. stolonifer is a mass of mycelium, the vegetative filaments of the fungus, and a fruiting structure. Most of the mycelium is composed of multinucleate, rapidly growing hyphae. When the mold’s spores are released they produce more mycelium through germination. As the mold matures it begins to turn black.

R. stolonifer is an agent of plant disease; it breaks down organic matter through decomposition. When kept in a moist environment, such as a piece of bread, the parasite can quickly spread within a few days. Its spores are commonly found in the air. The spores grow most rapidly at temperatures between 15°C and 30°C where they are able to germinate to their full potential.

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