Parasitology display

A Parasitology unit is taught by Dr Michelle Power at Macquarie Uni in Semester 3 (over the Australian Summer).  For the 2012 course I gave a lecture and ran a prac class on parasitic plants.  I set up a permanent display about mistletoes – with help from resident mistletoe specialist Marina Scalon of course!  The display includes pictures of mistletoes in the field and a number of haustoria (the modified root of the parasitic plant that attaches to the host). All of the mistletoes specimens were collected during Marina’s fieldwork in the savannah near Darwin.  Some of have been cut in half so that you can see the internal morphology of the haustoria – I think they are really rather lovely to look at! – Julia.

Mistletoe display in E8B set up for the Parasitology unit which runs over the summer semester. There are lots of other displays to see too!

Amyema miquelii in Eucalyptus miniata

A cross section of Amyema miquelii (mistletoe) attached to Eucalytpus miniata (host)

Decaisnina signet attached to Xanthostemon paradoxes with multiple attachment sites

A mistletoe attaches to its host through an haustorium, modified roots which penetrate the host’s tissue allows the parasite to extract nutrients.

A cross section of Dendrophthoe odontocalyx attached to Grevillia pteritifolia

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