Got activated by Siva yesterday to think about how to identify plant viruses for his Plant Virus pract. Fancy the zoologist doing a botany fieldtrip! But I understand he is helping out Prof Wong Sek Man. I don’t mind helping such a great prof out anyway.
Always one to seize such opportune and useful displacement activity, I scoured the net for search images of plant viruses and here are some useful links that I “delicioused” under the tag plant_virus. I put together a document that Otterman and I could use as a rough guide to spot plants that have been infected.
Siva lost his phone so by the time I had finished my meeting and made my way to the Bot Garden, it was hard to locate him and the students, so after 15 mins, I gave up and decided to do my own thing. My first aim was to locate the Canna hybrids which apparently are notoriously susceptible to the Yellow Streak Virus which cuases the pale streaks running parallel to the leaf veins; a closer look would show lots of speckles.
Another surprise I had was how many plant species showed the tell-tale signs of virus infection – chlorotic spots and ring spots with yellowing and vein clearing. The two pictures below were of leaves from Heliconia psittacorum
I decided to check out palm valley and lo and behold quite a few species were also infected. Here’s the majestic Corypha umbracaulifera (Talipot palm) clearly down with a bug.
Anyway, too bad I missed the group of students but the learning journey at the Bot Gdns was a welcome break. Here are some beautiful scenes; gosh how I miss the plants.