CONSORTIUM OF FUNGI ON FERMENTED DOUGH

My winter vacations began with fungal rich samples for my foldscope. Travelling from Chandigarh to Ahmedabad (in Gujarat) to my daughter’s place proved to be an enthusiastic vacation for me. While she was off to her workplace, I was busy cleaning the mess and there I got samples worth to view under a foldscope.

In a corner of the kitchen lay a bowl of fermented dough with fungal growth on it. On the grey-black velvety mat I could see some pure white cottony colonies. I took a slide and fixed a little sample to see through my foldscope. A neat, woven, intricate network of hyphae could be seen. I tried hard to locate spores or sporangia, but very tiny structures could be seen.

I took another sample from the same dough, this time of the grey-black velvety growth. Seeing closely, I could see some white pin head-like structures. Under a foldscope long stalked sporangiophores with sporangia hanging on them were clearly seen. Even the emergence of sporangia on the rounded tips of the sporangiophores was a treat to the eyes.

The greed in me forced to have yet another sample fixed on the slide. This time I took both the white as well as greyish mat. I was astonished to see a consortium of fungi. Now I could clearly make out:

  1. Black mould with long prominent, thick, aseptate hyphae with sporangia at the tips
  2. Thin, fine, network of hyphae forming a cross-weaving pattern and granulated cytoplasm
  3. Fusiform, multi-cellular conidia forming chains at some loci could be seen emerging from branched hypha.

Probably the dough was left outside since long giving space for many fungi to grow together.

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