Fungus ? in deep sediment

K N and P J Harris ecoli at cix.compulink.co.uk
Wed Jul 19 02:33:23 EST 1995


Student brought in a sample of calcareous sediment from the Barcelona 
area in Spain.
Question ? What are the little black spots ?
Low power stereo (x40) revealed many more or less spherical black 
structures, half submerged in the soft rock base. About 200 to 300 
microns in diameter, some with a small pore at the top.
Poking with a scalpel showed many of them to be fragile with the 
consistency of soft charcoal and hollow. One more resilient specimen 
showed evidence of a hard gelatinous content.
Eventually a few were observed to have small gelatinous, ochre coloured 
finger like projections, often curled, poking out of the top of the 
structure. Still only about 200 to 400 microns long. We managed to 
photograph a couple of the specimens.
As a humble soil microbiologist, used to Penicillium, Aspergillus and 
Trichoderma with the odd Mucor thrown in for fun, I have never seen 
their like before. I suspect some type of ascomycete on size grounds but 
would welcome ANY suggestions.
Peter Harris, Soil Science, University of Reading, UK.
AKA <P.J.Harris at reading.ac.uk>



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