Scaleyness is Next to Diatom-ness

The last few decades have seen significant advances in our understanding of microbial diversity. Consistent improvements in available technologies and methods for study, both molecular and ultrastructural, have allowed researchers to look further and deeper than they ever could before. Not only have they identified taxa that were previously unknown, they have been able to… Continue reading Scaleyness is Next to Diatom-ness


Sclerotinia sclerotiorum on bean Phaseolus vulgaris, copyright Rasbak. Belongs within: Sordariomyceta. The Sclerotiniaceae are a group of fungi that are pathogenic or saprobic on various parts of plants, particularly seeds and fruits (Kirk et al. 2001). Characters (from Kirk et al. 2001): Stromata present, as well-differentiated sclerotia or mummified host tissue. Ascomata apothecial, often long-stalked,… Continue reading Sclerotiniaceae


Apple scab Venturia inaequalis, copyright Luke Milliron. Belongs within: Pleosporomycetidae. The Venturiaceae are a group of fungi that are usually biotrophic or nectrophic on the leaves or stems of plants (Kirk et al. 2001). Characters (from Kirk et al. 2001): Ascomata perithecial, becoming superficial, usually small, more or less globose, sometimes aggregated into stromata, often… Continue reading Venturiaceae


Nosema apis, a pathogen of bees, from here. Belongs within: Fungi. The Microsporidia are a group of anaerobic intracellular parasites, usually found in animals, which penetrate the cells of their hosts by means of an extrusive polar tube. Characters (from Adl et al. 2012): Obligate intracellular parasites, usually of animals; mitochondria highly reduced to mitosomes;… Continue reading Microsporidia


Hyphoderma setigerum, copyright Heino Lepp. Belongs within: Homobasidiomycetes. Contains: Ganodermataceae, Polyporus, Phlebia. The Polyporales are a diverse clade of fungi supported by molecular data, commonly associated with rotting wood, some species of which cause economic damage to timber and/or living hardwoods. Many familiar members of this clade produce perennial, bracket-shaped fruiting bodies but others produce… Continue reading Polyporales


Phlebia radiata, copyright Jacy. Belongs within: Polyporales. Phlebia is a genus of corticioid (crust-like) fungi with basidia forming a dense palisade on the hymenium, and associated with a white rot (Binder et al. 2005). <==Phlebia     |  i. s.: P. albida RS99     |         P. merismoides B14     |         P. subochracea BH05     |–+–+–P. chrysocreas BH05     |  |  `–P. uda BH05     |  `–+–P.… Continue reading Phlebia

Getting Your Diatoms in a Row

Diatoms are one of the world’s primary groups of aquatic unicellular algae. Perhaps only the cyanobacteria rival them for ecological significance. They play a crucial role in the production and fixation of nutrients on which other organisms depend. Colony of Melosira moniliformis attached to some sort of weed, copyright Frank Fox. The last individual seems… Continue reading Getting Your Diatoms in a Row

Fusulinellidae, -inae, summat like that…

In an earlier post, I introduced you all to the fusulinids, a group of complex foraminiferans that were abundant during the later Palaeozoic. In that post, I alluded to the complex array of terminology that can be used when describing fusulinids but said that I would rather not cover it at that time. Well, this… Continue reading Fusulinellidae, -inae, summat like that…

The Life and Times of Dissodinium

I’ve referred before to the position of the minute crustaceans known as copepods as one of the major groups of animals making up the marine zooplankton. Copepods form a significant part of the diet for a wide range of other marine animals: fish, molluscs, jellyfish, you name it. They are also targeted by other organisms… Continue reading The Life and Times of Dissodinium