2020 Photomicrography Competition

Multi-nucleate spores and hyphae of a soil fungus (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus)

Dr. Vasileios Kokkoris Dr. Franck Stefani, Dr. Nicolas Corradi

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
63X (Objective Lens Magnification)

Dr. Vasileios Kokkoris captured this photo while researching fungal and plant ecology and the symbiotic relations between the two. It is the most commonly held notion that a cell contains a single nucleus within its structure, however the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal cell carries multiple nuclei (shown) that can, in mature spores, reach hundreds or even thousands. This research is part of an ongoing study to understand the relationship between soil fungus and plants for agriculture. It was taken with a confocal microscope in order to visualize the nuclei as well as the hyphal and spore walls simultaneously.