Wright Clayrot

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Formerly, Asteplent flora had little trouble in clay soil for lack of serious diseases that exploited the waterlogged conditions. Now, Wright Clayrot is a serious problem, between its hosts' weak, primitive immune systems in general and the unprecedented Binucleid detritivore lineage of the Wright Clayrot. It affects Grasterplents, Fern Asterplents, Deep Moleherbs and the non-genus Asterplent and Tombstone Asterplent.

The Tombstone Asterplent has an advantage over its kin: the Wright Clayrot must first get through the wax on its roots before attacking the root tissue itself, and because its roots are resistant to its own extra-strong digestive root acids, it further resists the acid-based attacks of Wright Clayrot. However, Tombstone Asterplents do have the habit of rooting on the corpses of Asterplent relatives who have died of Wright Clayrot, exposing it to higher amounts of pathogens.

Wright Clayrot has made it difficult for ground-dwelling Asterplents to grow at high densities in the habitats where the disease occurs, inadvertently opened up more habitat for other photosynthesizers, such as adult Twistworms.

Wright Clayrot is is most concentrated in clayey soils along slow-moving waters in Niyo Tropical Watershed. Niyo Riparian Swamp is second-most dangerous, due to low amounts of organic matter to add some level of drainage, though the Burrower Slooíde's tunneling is slightly helpful in aerating the soil.

Far to the southeast in Ovi Tropical Rainforest, close to South Ovi Tropical Savanna, somewhat higher elevation as the land changes to two kilometers high and slightly different precipitation levels changes the properties of the local soil, slightly reducing Wright Clayrot’s frequency and allowing for slightly denser populations of Asterplent species.

Image of an infected Deep Moleherb root, in the early stages of infection.

Due to Wright Clayrot’s low rate of evolution, limited spread under specific climactic and soil conditions, and its hosts being ubiquitous with short generation times and offspring numbering in the thousands, Wright Clayrot cannot exterminate hosts entirely within its range. Even under perfect conditions where outbreaks cover big swathes of its range and it is helped by co-infection with Scum Starblight, hosts living in the lower-risk areas at the borders of its range re-colonize the area, or more newborns come floating in on the wind from North and South Ovi savanna populations. Indeed, the only reason it is such a massive threat is its high reproductive rates and its hosts' weak and unprepared immune systems.

When Asterplent hosts are unavailable, they are mere decomposers of easily-digested tissues (especially Asterzoans), contributing to Ovi Tropical Rainforest’s high rate of nutrient turnover.

As a microbe, Wright Clayrot can be hard to distinguish from related species. The most obviously-seen difference, under the same viewing conditions as its ancestor, is pronounced, dark nucleoli and cell membranes 3-5 times thicker than its ancestor's. Often, a few of the other traits are also easy to see: pinker-looking cells, fewer blotches within the cell, and nuclei that look like rounded triangles, with more pronounced asymmetry than most Binucleus Neodetritivores. Occasionally, the nucleoli's lighting appears something like a partially-cut gemstone.