Image: Growth of fungus, Paecilomyces cicadae (Eureka Prizes)
2013 New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography Highly Commended
Growth of fungus, Paecilomyces cicadae, Elma Kearney
This ascomycetous fungus is an endoparasite of underground cicada nymphs. Infection begins when ingested spores germinate and invade the nymph, inhibiting protein synthesis (by cordycepin) and replacing internal organs with mycelia. At maturity, the fungal fruiting bodies (stromata) grow from the killed host and produce white spores.
- Elma Kearney
- © Elma Kearney