This morning one of my fir experiments officially began. I distributed the Phytophthora and collected the Day 1 data. It’s nice to finally be underway. I forecast beginning the other experiment next Monday if things go as planned.
I cultured the Phytophthora on rice. Each plant that gets a pathogen treatment receives half of a gram. Some lucky plants–like the one below–get two servings (a half gram each of two different species). The small very white rice grains are colonized with Phytophthora drechsleri, while the larger pieces of rice with a beige hue are colonized with Phytophthora cactorum.
I’m curious to see what happens. In a greenhouse environment the pathogens were able to cause substantial mortality. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more plant survival in an outdoor setting. The worst case scenario is all the plants surviving.
I have a second round of Phytophthora getting acquainted with rice right now. In two weeks I’ll do another inoculation to guarantee thorough coverage.