Beauty is Only Skin Deep

Bacterial spot on fruit

The definition of beauty has become a rather obsessive paradigm that has affected present society. It is a constant desire to reach what is perceived to be “perfection.” This infectious ideal has given rise to profitable industries of cosmetics, heavy research of youth enhancing serums, even to the extent of affecting our perspective of healthy food products. The slightest blemish or spot on a fruit may discourage fellow consumers, potentially preventing their purchase and leaving the fruit to rot in the produce isle. What a waste. One such… Read More →

Are Lichens Killing Your Trees?

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         One of the most common mutualistic relationships in the plant world is that of lichens. Made up of one part filamentous fungi and one part algae or blue-green bacteria, lichens are not considered a “true species.” The unique combination results in a very hardy, weather-tolerant, and genetically diverse group of Nitrogen fixers that is practically self-sufficient. The fungal partner cannot survive alone, but instead thrives on the availability of photosynthetic products provided by the algae or bacteria. Lichens are common pioneers on trees, shrubs, soil, and even… Read More →

New Year news – much activities and COLD

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This year went off with a start where the Plant Clinic remains busy with many different activities.  Here are a few highlights: Many of you may have notice a new posting on our Facebook page called “Sample of the week”. This project/task is headed by our new Extension Assistant (newly graduated former student worker), B. Commer.  The goals is to post an interesting thing that is received by the TX Plant Clinic once every 1-2 weeks. Check out and like us on Facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/TXPlantClinic Thanks to colleague, Dr…. Read More →

Cladoptosis: An interesting phenomenon

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Cladoptosis is a process in which trees shed their branches or “self-prune” as part of their normal physiology or in response to stress through the formation of an abcission layer at the branch base. Sources of stress which may contribute to this shedding include drought, soil and root compaction, or presence of disease. In the case of certain tree species, however, none of these factors need be present in order for Cladoptosis to occur. For some tree species, including larches, pines, poplars, willows, maples, walnut, ashes, bald cypress, and oaks,… Read More →

Identifying bacterial infections in submitted plant samples.

Bacterial streaming  from diseased plant tissue. Bacteria was later identified as E. amylovora.

This is another assignment submitted by BESC484 student, B. Commer, as a partial requirement for the course.  We typically get an uptick of bacterial issue showing up in the TX Plant Clinic in the fall. One of the student’s assignment is to document what they do in a manner to explain to non-plant pathologist or microbiologist what they do.  Enjoy- KO   Ever wonder just how the diagnostician can confirm bacterial plant pathogens? It starts with a very simple yet fascinating test to check for what is called… Read More →