SUMMARY Microscopic studies on four Chainia species have revealed that their vegetative mycelia were characterized by a rapid sclerotization resulting in the formation of broad, closely septate sclerotial hyphae measuring I to 3 μm in width. The sclerotia which subsequently formed originated from well-defined sclerotial initials which developed further by growth and division in different planes. A study of the internal structure of the sclerotia by microtomy revealed that they possessed a typical pseudoparenchymatous structure without any internal differentiation into zones. The sclerotia developed in different ways. In and , the sclerotial initials were intercalary. In they arose laterally on multi-hyphal strands as is characteristic of many fungi. In 33br the sclerotial initials were both intercalary and lateral. In and 33br the substrate growth sometimes formed a stroma-like crust with sclerotia anchored to or embedded in it. Scanning electron microscopy of sclerotia of showed that these structures possessed a characteristic surface architecture. The actinomycete sclerotium is not a simple hyphal aggregation but a definitive morphological entity with characteristic modes of development.


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