Rhizosphere Image Gallery

Soil fungi

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WARNING: The bitmap (BMP) images are over 1 megabyte per image! Full-sized jpegs are usually only about 40 kilobytes. We recommend downloading jpegs unless you require the highest image quality.

SCALE: Unless otherwise noted, these images are two centimeters wide and just under one and a half centimeters tall. To estimate the dimensions of zoom images, compare to their corresponding wide-angle shot. A fully-zoomed image can represent an area of the soil a mere three millimeters wide and two millimeters tall!


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The scene belowground


Site (plant species): Cupressus abramsiana

Mycorrhizal colonization of root clump


Site (plant species): Cupressus abramsiana

Zoom in on mycorrhizal roots; note the mystery invertebrate in the lower left corner


Site (plant species): Cupressus abramsiana

Full zoom on above...notice the contrast between colony densities


Site (plant species): Cupressus abramsiana

Hyphal mats on thin, branched roots.


Site (plant species): Cupressus abramsiana

Zoom of above image


Site (plant species): Cupressus abramsiana

Intense mycorrhizal colonization. The roots are hard to distinguish.


Site (plant species): Arctostaphylos hookeri

Hot spot of microbial colonization on mature root.


Site (plant species): Quercus agrifolia

Fine root; white cloudy areas are fungal hyphae.


Site (plant species): Quercus agrifolia

Extensive hyphal network.


Site (plant species): Quercus agrifolia

Half zoom on above image.


Site (plant species): Quercus agrifolia

Full zoom on above image.


Site (plant species): Quercus agrifolia

Fungal network #2.


Site (plant species): Quercus agrifolia

Zoom in on above.


Site (plant species): Quercus agrifolia

Root network with hyphal colonization.


Site (plant species): Quercus agrifolia

Zoom in on above.


Site (plant species): Quercus agrifolia

Full zoom on another root/fungal network. Notice both lateral and vertical roots.


Site (plant species): Quercus agrifolia

"Stained" root.


Site (plant species): Quercus agrifolia

Zoom in on above...extensive hyphal network colonizing the root substrate.


Site (plant species): Quercus agrifolia

Wispy, branched thin white root...bacterial clumps on right side of the screen?


Site (plant species): Quercus agrifolia

Half zoom on above...


Site (plant species): Quercus agrifolia

Full zoom on above...


Site (plant species): Genista monspessulana

Could be more root hairs, but the assymetry suggests that some of those wispy threads may be fungal.


Site (plant species): Genista monspessulana

That whitish look to the soil suggests that the soil here has been colonized by a dense fungal mycelium...several root branches radiate from the dense central colony.


Site (plant species): Genista monspessulana

Zoom in on above...


Site (plant species): Genista monspessulana

A lot of fungal activity around this root. It doesn't appear to be mycorrhizal, however.


Site (plant species): Genista monspessulana

Zoom in on above image...


Site (plant species): Genista monspessulana

Again we see the whitish color suggesting mycelial colonization of the soil in this region. Roots are present as well, although it is uncertain whether they are directly interacting with the fungal mass or if the two organisms are merely exploiting the same food source.


Site (plant species): Genista monspessulana

Zoom in on above image...


Site (plant species): Eucalyptus sp.

Notice the cloudy smear on the tube. It appears to be evidence of actinomycete or bacterial activity.


Site (plant species): Pinus ponderosa

These fungal growths could be associated with the roots in this image.


Site (plant species): Pinus ponderosa

Full zoom on the above image. The cloudy appearance is characteristic of soil fungi, whose individual hyphae are too small to be visible with our camera.


Site (plant species): Pinus ponderosa

This white area is probably the mycelial mat of a fungus living in the soil.


Site (plant species): Populus trichocarpa

This root is surrounded by hairs. Are they root hairs or some microbial community that thrives in this moist environment?


Site (plant species): Populus trichocarpa

Half zoom in on above...


Site (plant species): Populus trichocarpa

Full zoom on above. Now the hairs no longer resemble root hairs.


Site (plant species): Salix lasiolepis

This active root seems to have a vague whitish substance surounding it...


Site (plant species): Salix lasiolepis

In this zoom of the above image, you can see that the whitish substance forms a sort of sheath around the root, and is probably due to the presence of soil fungi. The concept of a "rhizosphere", a zone adjacent to roots that is influenced by root activities, is perfectly clear in this image. Soil fungi are presumably feeding on sugars leaking from the root.


Site (plant species): Salix lasiolepis

This image was taken further down the same root.


Site (plant species): Salix lasiolepis

Zoom in on above.


Site (plant species): Salix lasiolepis

This is another image from the same root.


Site (plant species): Salix lasiolepis

Zoom in on above. In an image like this it is impossible to distinguish between root hairs and soil fungi.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("A")

Red bulbous fungi-like structure. Or perhaps it is a hardened flow of sap from a root...we can't figure this one out! Notice the deep rooting channel in the background.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("A")

Zoom on red bulbous structure from above...notice the heavy mucilage on lower right of the red structure.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("A")

Full zoom on above.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("A")

This is another mystery! It appears to be a fungul fruiting body... possibly a sporocarp?


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

These peculiar structures seem to be fungal fruiting bodies growing out of the root tissue. You'll see more images below of this strange phenomenon.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

These strands appear to be fungal hyphae infecting a root tip.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Full zoom on above image...


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Fungal hot spot; cotton-like...


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Another fungal-infected root.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Full zoom in on above.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Another fungal-infected root.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

This image nicely shows the shapes of the fruiting bodies.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Zoom in on above image...


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

A 'forest' of fungal branches...


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Nice zoom shot of above image; notice the characteristic red color of the redwood root.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Intense fungal activity. The mycelium appears to have jaws as it consumes some organic debris in a zone in the soil.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Full zoom on hyphae from the above shot.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

The white burst on the screen indicate another fungal hot spot...notice the insect at the bottom of the screen.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Zoom in on section of mycelia from the above image.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

More roots colonized by fungi


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Root color contrast & more fungal colonization...


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Zoom on image from above gives a good picture of fungal sporocarps/pycnidia.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

This zoom illustrates the mycelial network above the spore-producing structures.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Another fungal hot spot...


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

More fungal activity; notice the branched hyphae.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Hyphal web...


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Old and young roots.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Zoom in on young root; notice the web-like fungal hyphae.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

More web-like hyphae associated with roots...


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

zoom...


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Intense fungal activity on older red roots with unaffected roots in the background.


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Zoom on above...


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Red bulbous structure like that from the other redwood grove...


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

Shot #2 of the red bulbous structure...


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

This white mass seems somewhat different from the other white areas of mycelium-rich soil that we witnessed occasionally. Perhaps this is a different type of fungus?


Site (plant species): Sequoia sempervirens ("B")

A zoom of the mysterious white substance.



Last updated: 4/25/02
Authors:Michael Lebeck and Nick Bader