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Strange growth ID help


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This windowlov Java fern leaf was found in my piano snail (livebearer) tank. 
Not any algae I’m familiar with and not rhizomes. 
Exterior texture is like freshwater sponge but interior texture is the same as exterior. All pointy and only larger ones rub off easily. 
Reminds me of saltwater bryozoan but the shape looks nothing like the freshwater bryozoan colonies I’m familiar with. All dark hunter green. Only on this leaf on a juvenile fern. Very curious. If I get time I’ll do some microscope shots but being the weekend it might not happen. 
@Biotope Biologist, @OnlyGenusCaps, @Odd Duck, @modified lung???







Edited by Guppysnail
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Those are galls. From what I’ve read my botany knowledge is very limited. But they are an immune response that results in growths such as these. Appear to be fairly common in java fern as I see many forum posts on it over on the planted tank forum and uk aquarists. I don’t think it’s well understood or known what causes it in java ferns specifically. 

Could also be a genetic mutation causing the galls. I assume akin to allergies. But again I know very little of botany. I trust @OnlyGenusCaps will have a better response

Edited by Biotope Biologist
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Wow!  I didn't know java ferns commonly had galls.  Interesting!

Common causes of galls include gall forming insects (we can probably rule that out in this case), and gall forming fungi.  Those critters tend to use the plants' own response to get the plant to do something the other organism wants (like producing a safe and nutritious place for their young to grow in the the case of many insects). 

On 1/14/2023 at 11:23 AM, Biotope Biologist said:

Could also be a genetic mutation causing the galls.

Now that's an interesting possibility!  I'm not aware of another example of this happening in commonly cultivated plants, but given that this happened on a mutant strain, I can't rule out the possibility that it's genetic.  Depending on how these mutants are made, it could happen.  This happens once in a while in Arabadopsis when screening for mutants after radiation induces mutagenic experiments.  It's like the origin story for a super hero, if being oddly bumpy were a super power. 

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On 1/14/2023 at 4:16 PM, OnlyGenusCaps said:

after radiation induces mutagenic experiments.

I only live 20 minutes from Three Mile Island 🤣🤣🤣


Thanks folks. I knew nothing of galls. I was hopeful I had another really cool pet on my hands. 🤷‍♀️

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