Mouldy Pumpkin - One month after Halloween
Image copyright MycoAlbum CD by George Barron
Comment on CD by MJW and CS - ' AMAZING '
Looking for an interesting lab project for the fall? Just leave the pumpkin lying a round for a few weeks after Halloween. See how many fungi you can isolate and identify to genus. Most of them will be Hyphomycetes. Is this what you would expect?
Before you start take a guess at a few genera you might expect to find. Where did they come from? Give several possible sources for the intitial inoculum. Pssst! What did you have for breakfast? Was it too cold for insects. W hat did you carve the pumpkin with. Which way was the wind blowing? Was it raining that month? Any mice around the place? What was it sitting on? Where did it come from. Did your granny give it a kick?
So this is the outside! What about the inside?
PS To do this right you need some suitable media on Petri plates and of course a microscope.
PPS Watch out for mites - the bane of the Plant Pathologists life.
To get rid of mites: Store the Petri Plates in a plastic box. Put ONE crystal of PDB or Napthalene on a glass slide or in a 'teeny weeny petri plate lid. Leave 24 hrs then remove. After a 24 hour lag, repeat the process to get any survivors or newly hatched mites. Remove crystal and discard.
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