Asian soybean rust infection on a leaf
Nadine Ilk-Maintz, The Sainsbury Laboratory
The image shows an infection site of Asian soybean rust fungus on a leaf. Single fungal spores germinate on the surface, penetrate the leaf and colonize in the plant tissue. A net of fungal hyphae grows in the plant cells and millions of new spores will be produced and released on the leaf surface within a week. Scientists at The Sainsbury Laboratory on the Norwich Research Park study this pathogen. They stain the fungal structures with a fluorescent dye to distinguish them from plant tissue. Microscopy is used to screen plants for fungal infections, which are not always visible in bright light.