Black bread mold
The Black bread mold, Rhizopus, is a common type of fungus.
It grows and reproduces the same way that most moulds do. In asexual reproduction, the mould makes spores inside a sporangium. When the spores are ready to leave and spread more mold, the sporangium breaks open and lets the spores float out. In sexual reproduction its hyphae touch the hyphae of another Rhizopus mycelium. When they fuse, they make round balls called zygospores. After some time, the zygospore makes another sporangium, which then makes spores. During this sexual process, genetic recombination takes place, as with all eukaryotes.
The spores land on a place where they can turn into a new mould, and begin to grow. They very quickly start making hyphae, small tendrils that look like roots. Hyphae are not roots, but part of the mycelium. The mycelium is the main part of the mould, and grows inside the bread. Black bread mould grows fast when the temperature is higher than 15 degrees Celsius and lower than 20oC.
Black bread mould is found in all countries of the world. It is often found growing on bread and on soft fruits such as bananas and grapes. Because the mould spores are airborne, the mould can spread easily.
- Schipper M.A.A. 1984. A revision of the genus Rhizopus. I. The Rh. stolonifer-group and Rh. oryzae. CBS Studies in Mycology 25:1-19.
[change] Other websites
- Time lapse video of Rhizopus stolonifer attacking strawberries at the Cornell Mushroom Blog.