Take a Trip Through this Website to Learn About this Sweet Organism!

Welcome to the wonderful world of Claviceps purpurea! This organism is one of the coolest in the world! Not only is it believed to have caused the Salem Witch Trials, but it is also the cause of a disease called St. Anthony's fire, which makes your limbs fall off. What, you don't believe me? I'm serious! Check out the disease/history page for more proof. This organism may seem not-so-good, but there are also many good things that this organism has provided for humanity. There are a number a different medicines that are derived from ergot (pronounced AIR-got) that have been used throughout the ages. Claviceps purpurea is also believed to have provided us with some of the wonderful music created by the Beatles when they were trippin' on LSD, which also comes from this fungus.

What else should you know before taking this journey through my webpage? Well, probably what my organism looks like! In the pictures, you can see some abnormally large, black grains growing out of the plant. That is actually my organism! It is a small, black fungus that looks nothing like the mushrooms you are probably used to eating on your pizza. Nope! This organism just looks like large, black grains of the plant it infects and can be mixed into the grains that people eat as bread. You will find out how serious that is as you make your way this website!

But before I tell you more about my organism, let me tell you a little bit about why I made this webpage. My name is Kaitlyn Miedema and I am a student at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and am currently enrolled in Organismal Biology, where making a webpage on an organism was our project. My webpage is also a part of a bigger project, called Multipleorganisms.net, which is a compilation of all the web pages created by students from BIO 203, from this year and every year since 2007! Make sure to check out this website and take a look around and see what other cool organisms people have done over the years! Also check out my professor's website about tons of different fungi, it's pretty sweet.

Now, to learn more about my pretty awesome organism, continue on to the REPRODUCTION page!