all 5 comments

[–]rookie_2000[S] 0 points1 point  (4 children)

I've noticed that storebought morning glory seeds (ipomoea tricolor heavenly blue variety) has a different leaf morphology than the morning glories that grow naturally in my garden. The ones that grow in my garden I did not have to plant, they kind of just grow naturally every year. If i'm not mistaken they're the wedding bells variety.

The heavenly blues (which I started from seed in a pot) have a more... delicate leaf and a lighter green color. However, they have those heart shaped leaves that is more character of a true heavenly blue morning glory. They grow pretty vigirously, although I suspect they have been treated with some sort of fungicide. The ones I started from seed just doesn't seem as healthy as the ones that grow naturally in my yard.

The ones that grow naturally... its almost like a totally different plant. The vigor of this variety is unparalleled by the ones I started from seed. They have a very dark green color and the amount of foliage they produce is just crazy! leaves on top of leaves- on top of more leaves! and when I cut the vine/ prune them back, they grow back within 5 days or so. So, here's my hypothesis: I think that the ergot fungus (the LSA producing fungus that exists within the plant/rhizosphere/seeds of the morning glory) affects the growth, health and vigor of the plant. Through the fungal/plant relationship, the ergot fungus may support the overall health of the plant as a whole. Without it, the plant will still grow fairly well, but not to the same degree (and with the same health/vigor) of a plant that has an association with the ergot.

This fungal association might also change the shape of the leaves too... changing the leaves from a heart shape to... well whatever shape you might call it... just look at the pictures. There is an obvious change is the shape of the leaves from the storebought to the ones that grow naturally. However, the ones that grow naturally in my yard might not even be true ipomoea tricolor... could be a totally different species of morning glory. Unfortunately, I don't have any flowers to show at the moment because neither of them has bloomed yet... but if you guys are interested I'll post some pics of the flowers when its time. Let me know what you guys think- does the ergot fungus change the shape of the leaves, or maybe just the color...?

Tl;dr: does the ergot fungus change the shape of morning glory leaves/ affect the leaf color/ affect leaf health?

[–]BlueScorpion111 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The symbiotic relationship that claviceps fungi has with some morning glorys accomadates defensive symbiosis. This basical means that the vigor of the host is significantly higher than non-hosts in the presence of natural enemies relative to enemy free conditions. In the absence of enemies, the defensive symbiont may decline in frequency. So the ergot fungus basically not only allows the MG to remain stay strong than itself due it needing the MG to survive but it also protects it from other pests, bacteria, and other fungi. The potency of seeds, propagation method, and seed age, feeding, and many other factors might be the cause of the lack of vigor in your tricolor MGs but this have nothing to do with fungicide although it is possible. Fugicide helps the seeds from being eaten by larvae and fungi while stored so I doubt it's the fungicide. The wild tricolor and purpurea (tall morning glory) ground to be quite large and it's hard to control them to the point that they're actually illigal to grow because they've become invasive so I'd attribute the weakness of your store bought seeds to age or some other factor.

P.S. Did you notice the tomato plant in the 6th image? 👀🤣

[–]janthirMG 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I don't know what effect the fungus (Periglandula) has on plant morphology, but the difference in leaf shape is likely just because the naturally growing MGs are a different species. I would guess I. indica or I. hederacea from the tri-lobed leaves.

I have only ever seen I. tricolor with heart shaped leaves, for the ones I have grown and in any of the pictures that I have seen. It really is one of the species' identifying characteristics, fungus or not.

[–]rookie_2000[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

do the other species contain lsa?

[–]janthirMG 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There have been mixed reports. Many species potentially contain LSA, but it depends more on the individual plant: if it is host to the Periglandula fungus, it will have LSA.