A Breathe of Fresh Air

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fuzzy dots on blue disk

A Breath of Fresh Air | Alyssa Koehler

Plant and Soil Sciences – Faculty
Canon EOS Rebel T6i (Portrait)
Microbes are all around us. This picture shows a Petri dish with semi-selective pH indicator medium used to detect and quantify spores of the plant pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. This fungus produces survival structures called sclerotia that survive in the soil and germinate to produce ascospores. These spores blow through the air and land on a host plant where they colonize and cause disease. These particular spores produce an acid and pH indicator media can be used to track if spores are present in a field to improve timing of management strategies. Plates are opened in the field for a 1-hour sampling period and spores that land on the plate will cause the media to turn bright yellow. Can you spot the spores of S. sclerotiorum along with the many other organisms trapped from the air?

Posted on

April 10, 2019