HELP! Unknown structure/organism on surface of plants and fungi

Stephen M. Marek smmarek at
Fri May 18 02:44:10 EST 2001

Dear bionet.mycology,

I received prompt answers from Don Pfister, Robert Chehey and Brigitte
Mauch-Mani.  My eternal gratitude!  The structures were...drum roll
please...pine pollen!  This explains why it's found on such a wide variety
of surfaces.  The pines have been shedding massive amounts of pollen over
the past month.  Please see the websites below for images of these seemingly
ubiquitous airborne propagules.
eae.html  (search for the pollen of your
favorite plant!)

Thanks for solving the "mystery"!


"Stephen M. Marek" <smmarek at> wrote in message
news:9dqqh6$f6$1 at
> > To anyone who regularly looks at plant surfaces through a microscope,
> >
> > We've come across a seemingly ubiquitous structure or microbe on the
> surface
> > of detached leaves and some fungal fruiting bodies (morels).  It
> of
> > one large globose to ellipsoidal structure, hyaline and browning with
> > fused to two smaller white ellipsoidal structures on one hemisphere.  If
> > viewed in cross section it would resemble a Disney Mickey Mouse emblem.
> > When viewed facing the two smaller ellipsoidal structures it resembles a
> > microscopic Lithops (living rock succulent plant).  While I haven't made
> > exact measurements, I'd guess a diameter between 50-100 microns.  I'm
> sorry.
> > I realize a picture's worth a thousand words, but I don't have a website
> on
> > which to post an image.  I can email a micrograph to interested parties.
> >
> > Our current best guesses are some sort of colonial algal spore, protist
> > resting structure or an arthropod egg.  Has anyone else seen this?  Is
> > unique to N. California?  Look forward to any response.
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Stephen M. Marek
> > Plant Pathology, 348 Hutchison Hall
> > One Shields Ave., University of California
> > Davis, CA  95616-8680
> > email:  smmarek at
> >
> >

More information about the Mycology mailing list