Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/90

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80
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

rapid decay, due to the development upon them of the Penicillium, while all other portions of the fruit were in a normal condition,

There are many diseases due to those exceedingly minute germs so widely talked of nowadays—namely, the bacteria. They attack animals and induce fevers of many sorts, and man sinks before them with the dreaded cholera, consumption, etc. Plants have their enemies among these micro-organisms, and apples do not enjoy an immunity from them. The succulent substance of a ripe apple is a favorite food for the bacteria, the only check upon their abundant entrance being the tough skin. But there are too many weak places, and it is presumable that these germs when falling upon them are capable of beginning their course of rapid multiplication which, when unchecked, reduces the fruit to rottenness. In Fig. 4 is seen an apple under the apparently unbroken skin of which in several places were decaying spots with no signs of any other mischief-makers than the swarming millions

PSM V43 D090 Apple blotch.jpg
Fig. 4.—Apple Blotch.

of the micro-organisms. As soon as the skin becomes broken in any such places, the coarser decay germs enter and quickly the fruit is overrun with a motley vegetation of various molds.

If we look further among the decaying fruits, it will not be long usually before an apple is found that does not agree with any of the descriptions given above. Perhaps it is healthy in all parts save one, and that has no scab present. The blue mold is