In 1882, Pierre Marie Alexis Millardet discovered the first fungicide, which he called Bouillie Bordelaise or Bordeaux mixture. See also: Plasmopora viticola. Millet

Any of the cereals belonging to the genera Echinochloa, Eleusine, Panicum, Paspalum, Pennisetum, and Setaria. Milo

See: Sorghum bicolor. Mindset

A state of fixed belief that is largely impervious to conflicting evidence or argument. Scientists are supposedly open-minded but some curious examples of scientific mindset exist. When Joseph Lister first introduced his concept of anti-septic (now called aseptic) surgery, there was furious opposition from many of his medical colleagues. When Gregor Mendel discovered single-gene genetcs, he was ignored for over thirty years. When Alfred Wegener introduced his geological concept of continental drift in 1915, most geologists vigorously denied its very possibility for about half a century, until plate tectonics proved him right. For an even longer period, geologists also denied the possibility of catastrophic change, until Walter Alvarez showed that the extinction of the dinosaurs was due to a major extra-terrestrial impact. And when J.E. Vanderplank introduced his concept of horizontal resistance, in 1963, it was met with comparable hostility in a mindset which continues to this day.

See also: Vested interests. Mineral oil

Mineral oil can be sprayed on to the surface of water where it makes an impervious film that prevents mosquito larvae from breathing. This is an example of a stable insecticide. Minimum

The lowest possible value of a quantitative variable. Minimum tillage

A cultivation technique that makes some use of herbicides in order to disturb the soil as little as possible. The main objective is one of soil conservation but other advantages accrue, such as a reduction in cultivation costs, etc. Minor staple

A minor staple is the principle food crop of an agricultural people, but one that is not sufficiently productive to become a major staple. Minor staples permit the development of village societies only. They do not liberate a sufficient proportion of the people from agriculture to permit the growth of cities, and the development of a sophisticated civilisation. Examples of minor staples include yams in West Africa, sorghum and millets in East Africa, potatoes in the high Andes, and taro in Papua New Guinea. Miracle rices

The dwarf rice cultivars of the Green Revolution. See also: IRRI. Miracle wheats

The dwarf wheat cultivars of the Green Revolution. See also: CIMMYT. Miridae

The plant bugs, many of which are serious pests of crops. Mist propagator

A transparent chamber for rooting cuttings in a nutritionally and biologically inert rooting medium that discourages rotting. The cuttings are left with as much leaf as possible, in order to maximise photosynthesis, and water loss is prevented by keeping the leaves permanently wet with an automatically controlled, fine mist of water. High light intensities are recommended, even at the risk of relatively high temperatures in the chamber. Many crops, in which vegetative propagation was previously difficult or impossible on a commercial scale, can now be vegetatively propagated in mist propagators. Mites

Small arthropods of the Order Acarina, and important parasites of both plants and animals. They differ from insects principally in that they have eight legs. The plant parasitic mites are often called spider mites, and are often coloured red. They can cause considerable damage to plants by feeding on the surface cells of stems and leaves, causing severe lesions resembling 'burn'. Miticide

A pesticide that kills mites. Mitosis

A dividing of a nucleus to produce two daughter nuclei that are genetically identical to each other. See also: Meiosis. Mobile nutrients

Plant nutrients that can be moved internally from one part of a plant to another. When there is a deficiency of a mobile nutrient, the deficiency symptoms occur in the older leaves.

Mobile nutrients include: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Magnesium.

See also: Immobile nutrients.

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