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Monday, 23 November 2015

Gibberella gordonii --- on ergot --- on Spartina anglica (Cord grass)

Emily's ergot with icy background prompted me to look at the local saltmarsh for Spartina anglica (Cord grass) which, at this time of year has huge ergots of Claviceps purpurea var. spartinae.  These in turn are parasitized by another fungus, Gibberella gordonii (formerly Fusarium heterosporum) the orange/pink mass at the base of the ergots. There are not many FRDBI records for this although I presume it would be found if looked for.
There is a splendid article in the Mycologist vol8 (1) p9, Feb 1994 by Tom Preece about this association of two fungi on Spartina.  It seems both fungi contain toxins so if eaten a double dose of poison is ingested.  With one record Malcolm Storey notes he found these ergots had a strong smell of alcohol!

1 comment:

  1. Nice to know that the population is still there after 25? years.