Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hoya seeds : beneficial fungi or lethal infections

The viability of many seeds of Hoya decreases quickly after one month out of their pods. Ideally Hoya seeds should be planted not later than 15 days after harvest. Due to this fast reduction of viability, they are particularly subject in environments excessively moist and poorly aerated to a variety of fungal attacks ( but immediately planted in closed humid zip bags off light their germination ratios are very high after 15 days in these conditions ) : wet environments with light may cause weak germination and also affect the seedlings, causing slow growth and death. Signs of the diseases include withering, yellow or blotchy leaves, rot or mold at the base of the stem, root rot.

Some fungi, called endophytic fungi, may have beneficial effects on the germination of the seeds in particular when they were transmitted by the parent plants - this is why using a sterilized soiless medium should be prefered to using a fungicide.

A study on endophytic fungi has exhibited on Hoya carnosa plants  29 fungal species among the following taxons : Colletotrichum spp, Fusarium spp, Gliocladium sp, Micelia sterilia spp, Phomopsis spp, Xylariales spp.

Host - endophyte relationship based on plant chemistry is a promising field of studies.

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