Variety of trichomes in Tulsi leaf

Onset of spring season has sprouted new leaves on my tulsi plant. Trichomes were isolated from young tulsi leaves and observed under foldscope. They were of variable shapes and sizes. I wonder if the mature leaves too have similar type and shapes.

Leaf Trichomes of Daucus carota

Certain leaves when eaten cause irritation of throat. Such leaves are not even eaten by cattle and other herbivores. When scratched and seen under foldscope the cause was presence of trichomes on the surface of leaves.

White Mold-Sclerotia causing pod rot in peas

Some white, cottony mass was observed on pea pods. The sample observed under foldscope revealed fungal hyphae and black, irregular sclerotia. When these pea pods were split open, white fluffy, slimy mycelium was found inside also. Infection results in production of dense white mycelium which covers the stems, leaves and even the pods. The affected…

Foldscope view of Marigold leaves infested with spidermites

Marigold is prized for its bright colours easy to grow nature and require little care. The plant is hardy and perfect for landscape settings and home gardens. While marigolds are typically pest-free and not bothered by most insects, occasional problems may arise with a few common garden pests. I could see some powdery appearance on…

Aphids seen on Chrysanthemums under foldscope

Chrysanthemum plants are in full bloom these days in my garden.Some plants however are still young and have not flowered. The other day, I noticed some flies on it. On moving closer, I saw it infested with aphids. The leaves were showing white sticky patches and dark brown-grey coloured minute pests sticking near the growing…

Exploring the moulted skin of the aphid menace on Rose plant under foldscope

Red and green coloured aphids were noticed on Rose plant. Close observation showed white flies and sticky exudation on the leaves. I had read in my biology class as insects  moult they shed their casts and their whitish cast skins may be mistaken for whiteflies. With our foldscopes ready, we fixed samples and observed some nymphs and…

Foldscoping pollen of Fenugreek- a multipurpose crop

Fenugreek ( Trigonella foenum-graecum) is multipurpose crop known for its medicinal and nutritional value (food and fodder both). It is an annual winter plant of the family Fabaceae. The plant has trifoliate compound leaves with somewhat small, obovate leaflets, Flowers are typically yellow coloured and triangular shaped. Calyx is cup shaped with papilionaceous corolla. Stamens form…

Mold on garlic clove – a post harvest loss

Blue-green moldy growth was observed on a clove of garlic . I prepared a temporary mount from the infected portion and observed it under foldscope. I could see intense fungal growth.

Trichomes on radish leaves under foldscope

Plants have several defense mechanisms against abiotic and biotic stress. Leaf trichomes are uni-cellular or multi-cellular hairs that can be glandular or non-glandular and are believed to protect plants against herbivory and drought. Leaf trichomes production insome plants increases tolerance to drought. Radish leaves also develop trichomes that were seen under foldscope and were found…

Exploring the kitchen garden plants under Foldscope – pollen of radish

Radish, Raphanus sativus is a winter herbaceous annual of family Brassicaceae. The plant has a short hairy stem and a rosette of leaves. The season nearing an end some plants show whitish-pink flowers in corymbose racemes. Stamens bear yellow anthers with short filaments. The pollen isolated from anthers were seen under foldscope. They were oval –…

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…

Fungi Everywhere – 7

Sample – 7 is of curd showing moldy growth. Curd left for 2 days outside the refrigerator showed moldy growth. Fixing a sample on a slide and observing through a foldscope revealed mycelium mat and Aspergillus spores with and without stain.

Pollen of white cherry @ Kansal Forest area

The area around the log hut of the Kansal forest is well maintained and showed beautiful landscaping. Clusters of racemes bearing pure white coloured flowers adorned the medium-sized Prunus (Family – Rosaceae) trees and were a part of landscape horticulture. The white cherry tree is of great ornamental value and is usually vegetatively propagated. The…

Powdery mildew on Tulsi under foldscope

White powder was seen on upper side of some tulsi leaves. Also the leaves showing powdery mass had turned reddish-brown in colour. The powdery mass when seen through foldscope showed large number of microscopic fungal spores – probably conidia. On the conidiophores, the point of attachment of conidia were clearly marked. Besides, the spores were…

Spirogyra from a pond @ Kansal Forest

As we walked towards the log hut, two small rain-fed lakes meant for fulfilling the water requirement of wild animals were seen in the Kansal forest. Besides, several small dams were seen flowing through the area These had algal blooms from where we collected samples. Later in the lab, a sample was drawn and gently…

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…

Fungal growth on strawberries

I had brought a box of strawberries from the store and as I opened the box, the upper layer had healthy, red strawberries, but in the lower layer, a few had rotten and showed fungal growth. When seen through a foldscope, fungal rot was confirmed.