Category Archives: Plant Pathology Research Group

Living fossils on campus

Some species have been described over the years as ‘living fossils’ because they are the last survivors from groups that were once common in the fossil record. The Coelacanth is an example. It belongs to a group of fish first known only from the … Continue reading

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Shuttlecocks – fungi designed them first!

At this time of year the fruiting bodies of the powdery mildew species, Phyllactinia guttata, are easy to find on the underside of hazel leaves (Corylus avellana) on campus. The minute fruiting bodies – known as clasmothecia – can be seen as … Continue reading

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Looking down 2

Under some of the oak trees on campus, as well as the fallen leaves, tiny pale discs are appearing. Sometimes these are present in large numbers. They show up particularly well on tarmac pavements. These are button galls which were … Continue reading

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Ideal home or revolting distortion?

If you need a safe place to live, why not get a home built to your own specifications? That’s what the larvae of Dasineura sisymbrii, a kind of gall midge do. The presence of the larvae amongst the developing flower buds … Continue reading

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Rusts affect weeds as well as crops!

A species of plant that is present on campus in greater numbers this year is Black bindweed, Fallopia convolulus. It has appeared in quite large numbers behind the Agriculture Buildings and also around the Harborne Building.

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Marble galls on oak

Early autumn is a great time to go looking for galls. Most have had time to develop but those on leaves are still on the trees for easy spotting. Two of the larger galls on oak are Knopper galls and … Continue reading

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Rusty bluebells

Like many other plants bluebells suffer from a rust disease. Bluebell rust causes yellowed areas on the leaves filled with dark brown/black pustules. Some rusts have as many as five different kinds of spores in a complicated life-cycle that can … Continue reading

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