Saturday, September 24, 2016

Seedling SIP Update

Lychee, left and Jackfruit, right

Seedling SIP Update

The SIPs are working really well.  This post is going to mostly be images to show the root development of a Jackfruit and Lychee seed.

These two have particularly visible fine mycelium development for some reason.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. It could actually be very good for the seeds.

Lychee, left and Jackfruit, right
In mycorrhizal associations, plants provide fungi with food in the form of carbohydrates. In exchange, the fungi help the plants suck up water, and provide nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen, via their mycelia. Since the 1960s, it has been clear that mycorrhizae help individual plants to grow. ~ BBC Earth

The lychee mycelium seem to be on the surface for the most part. Perhaps we need to keep it a bit dryer.

The jackfruit, on the other hand, has thick roots visible at the bottom of the SIP and a mess of mycelium coming out from the seed.

Jackfruit Mycelium
Jackfruit and mycelium development at the side of the SIP.

Fungal networks also boost their host plants' immune systems. That's because, when a fungus colonises the roots of a plant, it triggers the production of defense-related chemicals. These make later immune system responses quicker and more efficient, a phenomenon called "priming". Simply plugging in to mycelial networks makes plants more resistant to disease. ~ BBC Earth

Jackfruit Sprout and Mycelium
The jackfruit sprout is forming, along with the web of mycelium going all over the place.

While that argument rages on, other researchers have found evidence that plants can go one better, and communicate through the mycelia. In 2010, Ren Sen Zeng of South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou found that when plants are attached by harmful fungi, they release chemical signals into the mycelia that warn their neighbours.  ~ BBC Earth

Top Soil Mycelium Growth
The Lychee Mycelium are growing across the surface of the soil.

"These fungal networks make communication between plants, including those of different species, faster, and more effective," says Morris. "We don't think about it because we can usually only see what is above ground. But most of the plants you can see are connected below ground, not directly through their roots but via their mycelial connections."  ~ BBC Earth