Conidiophores of Rotiferophthora in Air
Arising from the Bodies of Subsurface Parasitized Bdelloid Rotifers
The spore clusters of Rotiferophthora are hydrophobic and thus not easily wetted. This allows the reproductive material to stay afloat for long periods before they become immersed in water to start a new cycle of parasitism. The conidiophore with spore balls acts as tiny sails and, during this floating phase, the spores can be dispersed passively on tiny 'ships'. At the same time during this floating phase, the spores of the parasite are protected from predation by other voracious predators amongst the protozoa and meatzoa ( tardigrades, amoebae, nemaatodes, collembola etc.) that would ingest them as food and lower the inoculum potential of the parasite.