Scanning Electron Microscopy


Calcium oxalate crystals are found in association with the sporangia of Mucor hiemalis and Rhizopus oryzae. Crystals observed in each species vary in morphology from simple crystals consisting of single spines in M. hiemalis to complex crystals with twin spines, sometimes three-parted, on a common base in R. oryzae. The early development of the crystals is similar in both species with a layer of the cell wall covering in the initial crystals. The spines of M. hiemalis rapidly emerge while the crystals of R. oryzae appear to remain covered with a layer of outer wall material. The crystals of both species become fully developed just prior to spore release. Details of crystal development are compared and possible mechanisms for crystal development are explored.

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