A root-feeding nematode trapped by predatory fungus.
This fungus produces a chemical in the ring cells which lures the nematode in. Once a nematode is within the ring, the cells react and swell up like a balloon, creating a tight collar. The nematode cannot break free and quickly dies. Fungal hyphae then grow throughout the nematode’s body to digest it.
In this drawing, the fungus (white) is growing along the surface of a plant's root, surrounded by root hairs. The nematode, which was moving in to feed on the root, became lured and trapped by the fungus. By trapping the nematode to feed itself, the fungus has incidentally provided protection to the plant.
I hope that my artwork can help bring people a little bit closer to the invisible world of microbiology that we depend on for so much.
This is a gallery-quality giclée art print on 100% cotton rag archival paper, printed with archival inks. Each art print is listed by sheet size and features a minimum one-inch border.