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Structure of Rhizopus spp.-english.JPG
Schematic diagram of Rhizopus spp.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Mucoromycota
Order: Mucorales
Family: Mucoraceae
Genus: Rhizopus
Ehrenb. (1820)
Type species
Rhizopus nigricans
Ehrenb. (1820)

Rhizopus is a genus of common saprophytic fungi on plants and specialized parasites on animals. They are found in a wide variety of organic substances , including "mature fruits and vegetables",[2] jellies, syrups, leather, bread, peanuts, and tobacco. They are multicellular. Some Rhizopus species are opportunistic agents of human zygomycosis (fungal infection) and can be fatal. Rhizopus infections may also be a complication of diabetic ketoacidosis.[3] This widespread genus includes at least eight species.[4][5]

Rhizopus 400x magnification

Rhizopus species grow as filamentous, branching hyphae that generally lack cross-walls (i.e., they are coenocytic). They reproduce by forming asexual and sexual spores. In asexual reproduction, sporangiospores are produced inside a spherical structure, the sporangium. Sporangia are supported by a large apophysate columella atop a long stalk, the sporangiophore. Sporangiophores arise among distinctive, root-like rhizoids. In sexual reproduction, a dark zygospore is produced at the point where two compatible mycelia fuse. Upon germination, a zygospore produces colonies that are genetically different from either parent.

Various species, including R. stolonifer, may cause soft rot in sweet potatoes and Narcissus.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rhizopus Ehrenb. 1820". MycoBank. International Mycological Association. Retrieved 2011-02-05. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Kirk PM, Cannon PF, Minter DW, Stalpers JA (2008). Dictionary of the Fungi (10th ed.). Wallingford, UK: CABI. p. 599. ISBN 978-0-85199-826-8.
  3. ^ Chinn RY, Diamond RD (1982). "Generation of chemotactic factors by Rhizopus oryzae in the presence and absence of serum: relationship to hyphal damage mediated by human neutrophils and effects of hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis". Infection and Immunity. 38 (3): 1123–29.
  4. ^ Zheng RY, Chen GQ, Huang H, Liu XY (2007). "A monograph of Rhizopus". Sydowia. 59 (2): 273–372.
  5. ^ Abe A, Asano K, Sone T (2010). "A Molecular Phylogeny-Based Taxonomy of the Genus Rhizopus". Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. 74 (7): 1325–1331.

External links[edit]