Viewing Rhizopus under foldscope

Since in the workshop I was expecting the bread mold to be Rhizopus But it turned to be Aspergillus species. To make my concepts clear Teacher handed me preserved material of Rhizopus.I prepared its slide and observed it under foldscope and now could make out clear cut difference between Rhizopus and Aspergillus. I failed to…

Fungus on Bread under foldscope

The moldy bread that Mamta got from mess by explored using foldscope. I was sure it would be Rhizopus. But it turned out to be some other mold ——- probably Aspergillus species. I could see loose sores (conidia) spread all over.

Studying post harvest loss in pea through foldscope

Lesions were seen on pea pods stored in refrigerator. The colour of lesions varied from translucent to brown. On observing these under foldscope, it appeared to be some fungus post-harvest loss in pea pods.

Observing different stages of Mitosis using foldscope

In the workshop I learnt to assemble and use foldscope for exploring nature. Firstly we all tried observing using permanent slides and then we collected random samples to observe using foldscope. I tried my hands on onion root tip slide. In theory I had studied different stages of Mitosis in dividing cells – Prophase, Metaphase,…

Pollinia of Calotropis under foldscope

Calotropis commonly called as Ak in native language is a milkweed because of the milky latex produced. Calotropis is a common weed found abundantly in North India. The peculiar thing about its pollen grains is the formation of Pollinia. Using a foldscope I could easily observe and understand the structure of a pollinium. From a Calotropis flower, I firstly…

Pollen explorations of Thuja

Here in India Thuja plant is considered an auspicious tree/shrub – Morpankhi and is linked to knowledge diety and I remember keeping its twigs in between book pages as a child. The male cones were plucked and pollen isolated to see under foldscope. Thuja – an evergreen, coniferous tree belongs to family cupressaceae ( Cypress…

Pollen from a tree

A medium-sized tree outside my boundary wall provides shade to passer byes in summer noons. These days it is in full bloom with white and purple small flowers. I plucked a few flowers and observed its pollen under foldscope.

Germinating pollen of Mahogony flower

Pollen germination was seen in several pollen of the mahogany flower that were released on teasing the anthers. The pollen were dusted on a slide, covered and observed using a foldscope attached to an iPhone. Long pollen tubes arising from the germ pores were closely observed.

Pollen of Mahogony flower under foldscope

Indian mahogany (also called Red cedar) is botanically known as Toona ciliata. It is a large deciduous tree belonging to family Meliaceae (Neem family). In Chandigarh these trees can be occasionally spotted. I had gone for my car repair, where I spotted this tree in full bloom near the car market. I collected the samples…

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.