White mold with clusters of conidia in pea pods under foldscope

While opening the pea pods to take out seeds, I noted a white fur inside them. On drawing a sample and looking through foldscope, I saw intricate network of hyphae and groups of conidia clustered to them at various points. Scanning the slide thoroughly, I could see several big brown spores too. Is it the…

Exploring galls formed by leaf miner on Brassica under foldscope

In the young leaves of the Mustard crop, irregular streaks were seen which showed attack by leaf miner. Sample taken from the area showed soft, juicy sap with irregular swollen areas and empty cells In a view the pest in side view could be spotted. On the attacked leaf the starting and end points of…

Pests on Tulsi plant observed under foldscope

Tulsi plant in my garden showed small black spots on the leaves. I fixed them on a slide and observed under the foldscope to see mealy bugs. What type of pests are these only a plant pathologist can tell, but it is a serious issue that even Tulsi plant which is a medicinal plant can…

Puffed infected patches – are these of nematodes or some pest?

Yatin of 4th semester @GGDSD College, Chandigarh brought me some infected leaves of Ficus tree to observe under foldscope. These he had got from his hometown in Haryana (Punjab) during winter break. All the leaves showed puffy, white balloon- like blisters/blotches due to some disease. I tried a sample out of these under foldscope. Everytime…

Viewing Infected leaf under foldscope

I spotted an infected leaf in the college garden. It showed white calcareous patches. I plucked the leaf to observe the disesed patch under foldscope. Some thread-like structures could be viewed and worm-like structures too.

Foldscope sensitization and exploring brushy anthers – an outreach activity

While I was at my daughter’s place in Ahmedabad, I sensitized her friends on usage of foldscope and how it can help in viewing different samples. As a sample, they plucked a purple coloured flower growing near the society gate and plucked its anthers. They all were fascinated to see how these appeared under foldscope.

Fuzzy Fibers seen in corona of silk floss flower

Common name: Floss-silk Tree, Kapok Botanical Name: Ceiba speciosa (= Chorisia speciosa) Family: Bombacaceae , now merged under Malvaceae (Hibiscus Family) In the flower of silkfloss there is a distinct corona.  It lies at the base of the staminal tube. It is a cream-coloured bell-like or vase-like structure with a maroon or dark-red-lobed  rim covered…

Pistil of silk floss flower

Flowers are large and prominent, and appear when the tree has shed its leaves. They are borne solitary or in bunches. The calyx is green, bell-shaped, with four lobes.  Each petal is creamy-white toward thebase with stripe marks, and the colour becomes magenta toward the tip. The pistil of the flower is enclosed within the staminal tube and the…

Pollen of silk floss flower

The stamens of the silk flower pollen are unique as the filaments of the five stamens fuse together forming a long dark-pink tube – red coloured  staminal tube which encloses the pistil within. The anthers also join to form a canopy at the top. The anthers were scraped open to release the pollen and observed…

Studying Post- harvest losses in fruits during storage using foldscope

Apples are a delicacy of North India and are supplied from Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh to the entire India. Long distance transport requires a proper storage at low temperature. However, certain losses may occur during storage. An apple obtained from supermarket showed a rotting spot. A sample was taken from the infected area…