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The Fastest Flights in Nature: High-Speed Spore Discharge Mechanisms among Fungi

Figure 1

Single frames from high speed video recordings of spore discharge in four coprophilous fungi.

a, Ascobolus immersus, with 8 ascospores discharged from ascus tip, 60 µs into the launch. b, Podospora anserina, with 4 ascospores harnessed by mucilaginous appendages, 96 µs after release from apex of fruiting body at left of frame. c, Pilobolus kleinii, sporangium with sap trailing behind, 0.8 ms after beginning of discharge. Undischarged sporangium at top of frame. d, Basidiobolus ranarum, single spore carrying portion of dehisced conidiophore, 24 µs into the launch. Scale bars, a, b, d, 50 µm, c, 1 mm. Frame rates a, 100,000 fps, b, 250,000 fps, c, 50,000 fps, d, 210,000 fps.

Figure 1