A microscopic fungus which is a facultative parasite on many species of crops, particularly on fruit and vegetables, and especially during very humid weather. It usually causes a disease called grey mould, and it is mostly a necrotrophic pathogen (i.e., it kills host tissue with toxins before invading and obtaining nutrients from them). The fungus often produces sclerotia from which apothecia bearing asci sometimes develop. It is consequently considered an Ascomycete, even though asci have never been observed in some species. Bougainville

Antoine de Bougainville (1729-1811) was the first Frenchman to circumnavigate the world. The island of Bougainville, largest of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, is named after him. So is the ornamental plant Bougainvillea. Bougainvillea

A tropical genus native to South America and much used throughout the tropics and subtropics as an ornamental. The plant is a woody, climbing shrub with many prominent 'flowers' that are really bracts concealing the very small true flowers. These bracts vary in colour from bright red, through orange and yellow, to white. Not difficult to breed and a fun project for amateur breeders in suitable climates. Bouillie bordelaise

See: Bordeaux mixture. Brassica alba

(Syn. Sinapis alba) White mustard. This is a 'hot' mustard, as opposed to the three species (B. juncea, B. nigra, & B.carinata) which are 'pungent' mustards. An open-pollinated species requiring recurrent mass selection for breeding. Brassica campestris

Turnip and Canola. A complex, outbreeding species suitable for amateur breeders working with horizontal resistance. Brassica carinata

Ethiopian mustard. This crop is confined to the highlands of northeast Africa where it is grown for oil, which is locally known as Noug oil. There is probably scope for amateur breeders to select within existing landraces. Brassica juncea

Brown mustard, also known as Indian mustard. This crop originated in India and it has secondary centres of origin in China and southern Russia. This species has the advantage that it can be combine-harvested and, for this reason, has become a major crop in Canada and parts of the northern U.S.A. This area now produces the bulk of the world's mustard. B. juncea is self-pollinating and is cultivated as pure lines. While much amateur breeding has occurred in India in the past, mainly for the production of oil, there is little scope for amateur breeders in the cultivars of commercial mustard cultivation. Brassica napus

Swedes, rutabuga, and rape seed. This species is an allotetraploid derived from a cross of the diploid B.campestris and B.oleracea. Swedes, which are visually similar to turnips, are a relatively recent crop first recorded in Sweden in 1620. Rape seed is a somewhat older, European domestication. (Note that the rape seed, known as Canola, is a cultivar of B campestris). Suitable for breeding by amateur breeders with special interests, given some assistance from experts. Brassica nigra

Black mustard. This was the traditional, hand-harvested, European mustard until the mid-twentieth century, when it was largely replaced by B. juncea, which is suitable for mechanical harvesting.

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