Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Nick Christians
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 (  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?

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