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Is this an Alien in my Sunflower?

 
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I think I remember this being the result of a Virus.  Any thoughts?  
Sun.jpg
[Thumbnail for Sun.jpg]
 
pollinator
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Re:  "Is this an Alien in my Sunflower?"

Yes...... is it growing anywhere near "Area 51"?

:-)


It looks like leaves or sepals growing where the flowers should be.  This might be characteristic of a 'homeotic' mutation where the cells that were supposed to give rise to flowers in that area instead, through a spontaneous mutation, progressing into a developmental program for leaves or sepals.  This event would have happened quite early when the flower head was first being developed.  Hard to say if it would be inherited, but likely not.  Are there others in the bunch doing the same or similar thing?


Edited to add that it could well be aster yellows disease:   https://www.sciencesource.com/archive/Image/Aster-Yellows-Disease-SS2587697.html
You have to scroll down through the photos in that link to see the sunflower example.  It's caused by a little phytoplasma.....bigger than a virus, but smaller than most bacteria.  Usually delivered into plants by leafhopper insects.
 
Kenneth Guide
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Thanks for the reply John,  I have 4 other sunflowers of this species within 30 feet from this, and of the ones that have opened, they all look fine.  
 
John Weiland
pollinator
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We see a lot of this in white aster growing wild in our prairie.  It seems to affect about 5-10% of the plants and I think that is fairly common for aster yellows breakouts, mostly documented in crop plants.
 
Kenneth Guide
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oh yeah, I think you're onto it or something similar.
 
                
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Location: Jackson, United States
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Hi Kenny-  it looks like you still have plenty of seeds growing in it, please consider growing some out and see what happens    Becky!
 
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Isn't close to any power lines or emf?
 
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This makes me wish I'd have taken pictures of the beholder calendulas I got this year...
 
pollinator
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It is close to a uranium deposit😇
 
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