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Saccobolus

This photomicrograph shows the entire fruitbody (apothecium) of Saccobolus.  It was growing on horse manure that had been incubated in a moist chamber for a few days.   The disc-like apothecium was picked off with a mounted needle, placed in a drop of water on a slide and squashed with a cover slip.    Click here for a higher magnification of the individual asci and ascospores.   Ascospores are thin-walled and colourless (hyaline) at first but become thick-walled and dark purplish at maturity

Students -  the ascospores of Saccobolus are shot of as one clump.   

1.  Does this have any advantages?

2.  Does this have any disadvantages?

The answer to both questions is yes!   Explain in detail! 

3.  What is the function of the purple pigment?

4.  Where are the ascospores from the time they are shot off until they get back to their substrate?