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© C BOBEE / F CHAPELAND-LECLERC / E HERBERT / G RUPRICH-ROBERT / P DAVID / C LEDOUX / E CABET / LIED / CNRS Photothèque
Although you’re more likely to come across "Podospora anserina" on herbivore dung, this version coloured in the Andy Warhol style could well end up in a museum. Forced here to grow in two dimensions, this microscopic filamentous fungus exhibits a network of hyphae (the filaments) extending over several tens of millimetres. Such a configuration, typical of this type of organism, is thought to enable it to optimise the transmission of information as well as the management of nearby reserves, which are vital to its growth in a frequently hostile environment. In order to elucidate the formation of this network and its growth process, the scientists subject it to external constraints – thermal, nutritional, and mechanical stress – for the purpose of predictive modelling. This image is one of the winners of the 2022 La preuve par l’image (LPPI) photography competition.