Scientific Name : Rhizopus stolonifer
Family : Mucoraceae.
Tamil Name :Poonjai
Description: Bread mold is commonly seen on decayed bread and vegetable matter. It is white in color as can be seen on the matter.
Distribution and status: Bread mold is found worldwide. Common
Habitat: This is a saprophyte organism which sometimes acts as parasitic fungi. This fungi is found in dead organic matter, mature vegetable and fruits
Habits: The spores are usually dispersed in hot dry weather and contain allergic proteins, may cause respiratory and nasal symptoms in humans (coughing, chest discomfort and allergic reactions)
Food : It takes food and nutrients from the bread and causes damage to the surface where it lives.
Life cycle: Asexual spores are formed within a pinhead-like sporangia, which breaks to release the spores when mature. Bread mold is a heterothallic species in that sexual reproduction happens only when opposite mating types (designated + and -) come in contact. Successful mating results in the formation of durable zygospores at the point of contact.
Role in the environment: Plays significant role in carbon cycle as a decomposer in the soil. Produces steroids such as Progesterone that makes it able to be used in common birth control pills.
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