So far, I have not found any spores from Neonectria ditissima in the preperates. We are looking at preps (preperates) from February 2018, and the temperature is somewhere between -3 and -11 degrees Celsius, which means that it would be uncommon to find spores. It does take a while though going through just one prep. It took me between 3 and 4 hours the first day, but I found out that the spores, if there, would not be as hard to see that I was imagining. I have now shortened the time down to 1 hour per prep, which still is quite long, but I use too much time looking for ghost spores.
We were going to feed some soldier fly larva today. They are given chicken feed, and they stink. There is no nice way to put it. I had an instantaneous gag reflex that made me nauseous. Really nauseous. So I tried to not make to much fuss about it, but I could not stomach it today, I bailed, and Lisa, who I am working with laughed a little as I ran out. I would have laughed myself.
The building I am working in has at least two labs. One chemical lab and one biological. I have spent most of my time in bio-lab, but we also go out to the fruit fields. Yesterday we went out to look for signs of a fungi called Chondrostereum purpureum or silver leaf (sølvglans). The characteristic silver leaf comes from that epidermis in the leaves is separated by the mycelium from the other leaf tissues. Light reflections from the leaves then give them a silvery look. We found some old trees with fruiting bodies of what we thought could possibly be silver leaf, so we bagged some samples, charted on a map where we found them and brought them back to the lab. Later we will try to grow them on agar to see if the mycelium looks like Chondrostereum purpureum, as we weren’t too sure they were the right species.
Found my first Neonectria ditissima spore today. Have been searching for 9 hours over these last days. It was very satisfying. So at least I can say that I have registered a finding this week.
I also found out that temperature did not have so much to say if the fungi Neonectria ditissima released spores, so that is something to remember for later, do not assume a hypothesis, and they are meant to be proven wrong, so my hypothesis was proven wrong here as it was -13 degrees when this spore was caught in the trap.
We also registered root primordia today. They are root sprouts that can sprout from other places than just the lowest part of the tree. They could look something like a raggedy part of the tree bark. The ones we registered were on apple and plum trees of different species. We counted how many was on the graft (poden), on the tree trunk beneath the first branches and from the first branches and up. So we divided the trees into three parts, gave each part of the tree a letter G, S and T (Grunnstamme = G, Stamme under første grein = S og tre over første greiener = T) and we gave them number on a scale from 0 – 2 where 0 was no root primordium, 1 was from 1 to two and 2 was more than 2 root primordium.
Root primordium comes from cells in the tree that become undifferentiated, and they start to divide and become root cells. I have not yet learned why this happens, but it seemed to have something to do with when trees are grafted. They use a technique called grafting to fuse two different trees together. This makes it more efficient to “plant” new trees because the root system is already established. They use one species in general for roots and then graft the specific fruit tree to these roots. In Norwegian it is called “poding”. This way the roots are established, and you can graft the wanted fruit tree to these roots. I imagine it also makes it easier to swap or change out the fruit tree if the yield is not as expected or if any other problems should occur to the fruit tree.
At half past 12 today we were out in the fruit gardens to count the trees affected by root primordium, and the sun was shining, and the wind halted. I did not take the temperature, but it was perfect. Had the feeling of being in a photoshopped Instagram moment. Word do not justify the feeling of awe of this beautiful part of the Hardanger fjord.
Picture taken at 12.30 ish at NIBIO’s eco fruit garden looking over the Hardanger fjord.