|A common species of dandelion (Taraxacum sp., probably T. subhamatum) showing a fasciated stem with normal stems in the background.|
|Dandelion showing a fasciated flower-head.|
Other causes are less well understood and may overlap with gall-causing agents in the case of mites and insects, while R. fascians is itself known as a causer of 'leafy gall' as well as fasciation (Redfern & Shirley, 2011). So, a feature to look out for, and one with plenty of opportunities for research - now, where's that funding application..?
Dudman, A.A. & Richards, A.J. (1997). Dandelions of Great Britain and Ireland. BSBI, London.
Presland, J., Oliver, J. & Barber, M. (2009). Abnormalities in Plants. Wiltshire Botanical Society.
Redfern, M. & Shirley, P. (2011). British Plant Galls (2nd ed.). FSC, Shrewsbury.
Simon-Mateo, C., Depuydt, S., de Oliveira Manes, C.L., Cnudde, F., Holsters, M., Goethals, K. & Vereeke, D. (2006). The phytopathogen Rhodococcus fascians breaks apical dominance and activate auxiliary meristems by inducing plant genes involved in hormones metabolism. Molecular Plant Pathology 7(2): 103–12.
Vandeputte, O., Oden, S. & Mol, A. (2005). Biosynthesis of auxin by the gram-positive phytopathogen Rhodococcus fascians is controlled by compounds specific to infected plant tissues. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 71(3): 1169–77.