June 26, 2013
A couple of weeks ago, I posted a picture of coral fungus from a lawn in Iowa. That prompted the following pictures from a reader of the blog. This is a strange organism growing on urea pellets. I had not anything like this before, so I sent it on to Melissa Irizarry at the Plant Disease lab. Melissa decided that it is not a coral fungi, but was not sure what it was. She sent to Leonor Leandro in plant pathology. Leonor doesn't think that it is a fungi at all, but that it may be a bryophyte or maybe an unusual moss. She sent it on to Jim Colbert, an expert in these types of organisms. Jim says the following:
1. They aren't coral fungi
2. They could be lichens in the genus Leptogium, some of which look a bit like this (http://www.nature-diary.co.uk/nn-images/1101/110123-leptogium-hibernicum.jpg) when they're wet. Were these specimens wet?
3. The specimen in the center of "fungi 2.jpg" looks very much like an acrocarpous moss.
4. Fertilizer pellets would be a pretty unusual habitat for either of these types of organisms…
We are getting a sample to study in more detail.
Has anyone else out there seen this type of organism growing on urea (or any type of fertilizer) pellets?