The study of fungi. Mycoplasma

See: Phytoplasma. Mycorrhiza

One of a group of fungi that form symbiotic associations with the roots of higher plants. The fungi are more effective than the root at extracting nutrients from the soil, which they provide to the plant in exchange for carbohydrates. Mycosphaerella

An Ascomycete fungus that causes leaf spots and stem lesions on many crops, including banana (M. musicola), strawberry (M. fragariae), peas (M. pinoides), brassicas (M. brassicicola), flax (Pasmo disease, M. linorum) and cucurbits (M. citrullina). Myristica fragrans

The nutmeg. This tree is a member of the family Myristicaceae, native to the Moluccas, and it produces two distinct spices. Nutmeg is the dried seed, and mace is the dried aril tissue that surrounds the seed. The former is normally used in sweet dishes, and the latter in savoury dishes. Like cloves and cinnamon, this spice was part of the incredibly valuable spice monopolies, first held by the Arabs and Venetians, then by the Portuguese, then by the Dutch, and finally by the British, before being broken by worldwide competition.

The tree is dioecious and this makes the establishment of an orchard very difficult as the two sexes occur in equal proportions but few males are required. The sex of a tree cannot be determined until flowering, some 5-8 years after planting, and the excess males must then be removed. Half of the replacements are also males, and must later be removed, and so on.

There is room for considerable improvement by selecting within existing populations and then by vegetative propagation . This is within the scope of amateur breeders . Myzus persicae

The green peach aphid. This aphid is the vector of many virus diseases, and is particularly important in potatoes.

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