WAR  of  the  MICROWORLDS  

How do I kill Thee?   Let me count the Ways!   (# 20)  click here for full list

Acaulopage tetraceros: This fungus is a predator of aquatic amoebae.  An amoeba touching the hypha of the fungus is instantly held fast.  Amoebae struggle feebly but  cannot escape.    The fungus doe not kill the victim immediatly but penetrates the outer wall by a narrow peg then invaginates the inner membrane by narrow, finger-like, sparingly branched haustoria (feeding hyphae).   The fungus absorbs the contents of the amoeba until all that remains as an empty 'shell' attached to the hyphae of the fungus.   At maturity the fungus produces wedge shaped spores each with several empty apical appendages.  appendages become devoid of protoplasm and act as devices that allow spores to float on the surface of water for dispersal. ZYGOMYCOTA. (for more information on this species see Drechsler C.  1935.   Mycologia 27: 186). 

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Left: Spore of Acaulopage tetraceros with empty 'flotation' appendages at the apical end. Right: branched haustorium of parasite inside host ameoba,

Note:   There are septa present to cut off the apical appendages from the living protoplasm of the spore..   Nonseptate fungi CAN produce septa for specific prurposes.  Often to cut off living portions of the thallus from dead, damaged or empty portions, or reproductive structures (See Drechsler, C.  1938.  Mycologia 30:150).  Acaulopage tetraceros (above) and A. acanthospora (below) are widespraed and common

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Acaulopage acanthospora