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Strange patterns of white discoloration on leaves as well as unusual outgrowth that resembles arrested generation of new branches on stem were observed on a plant in Singapore. The white discoloration patterns were random in size and shape but radiated from the veins of the leaf, with a higher concentration in the center and no discoloration in the outer regions. Possible explanations for the coloration pattern on the leaves include: (i) a new species, and more serious (ii) a plant disease of a hormonal nature or mediated by microbe pathogenesis or both. Observations of the plant stem revealed that the length of the stem is of regular segments, with each section punctuated by a ring-like structure. However, an evident flower-like (or, from a different perspective, rose-like) outgrowth in the middle of one section suggested that it is a sprout point for the development of a new branch. But the development was halted in unexplained ways, leaving behind an arrested ring. Though the above may be part of normal development, it could also be signs that the plant is under significant environment stress such as high temperature or manifesting the effects of uptake of toxins, which impacts on equilibrium of hormones in the plant. Most puzzling, the outgrowth that likely will form the basis of a new branch appeared in a lower segment of the stem without branches – which pointed tantalizingly to a hormonal disequilibrium cause. Collectively, the plant mentioned above was likely to be in distress in two scenarios. Specifically, (i) as a new plant species with a different leaf coloration pattern (white round patches on green background) but suffering from a hormonal disease manifesting as outgrowth in the stem, or (ii) a leaf discoloration pattern due to microbe infestation of the xylem in the leaf that led to reduced chlorophyll production in areas of microbe growth together with a systemic hormonal disequilibrium that result, through unknown mechanisms, in flower-like outgrowth in areas of stems not associated with sprouting of branches. Written as a rapid communication to inform the scientific community of a possible new plant species or an early indication of a plant disease likely to be hormonal disequilibrium that impacts on development of a mature plant, interested researchers may explore further the initial observations reported in this short note.
This manuscript is a rapid communication and may be updated in content and language at a later date.