Colonies very fast growing and coarse. Characterized by dark sporangia containing dark to pale spores and a large columella. At the base of the sporangiophores are root-like rhizoids. Often spreading by means of aerial, creeping stolons. Rhizopus species are often a pest in the laboratory. Because of their rapid growth and dry, easily airborne spores they can take over all the cultures in the lab in a few days. One species is capable of transforming soy beans into edible products and is much used in some Asian countries. Common on decaying fruits, soil, and house dust.
Classification: Mucoraceae (Mucorales, Zygomycota). Refs.: Schipper, 1984; Schipper and Stalpers, 1984.