Chapter 17 : Ecology of Fungal Plant Pathogens

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Plant pathogens are parasites that live at the expense of their host. While fungal pathogens are the largest group of plant pathogens, other important plant pathogens include bacteria, protists, chromists, nematodes, and even plants. Although this wide variety of pathogens share many aspects in epidemiology and management, here we deal only with fungal plant pathogens. The economic importance of fungal plant pathogens in the production of food, feed, materials, and ornamentals is undisputed ( ). Direct costs include yield loss and use of resistant cultivars or pesticides. Indirect costs include the inability to grow certain crops or cultivars at a given location. Inspection and quarantine protocols to prevent the dispersal of pathogens ( ) are indirect costs that are rarely taken into account. In contrast, as will be shown in this review, plant pathogens in nature are regarded as crucial contributors to the maintenance of biodiversity, similar to the role major animal predators play in wildlife.

Citation: Termorshuizen A. 2017. Ecology of Fungal Plant Pathogens, p 387-397. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0013-2016
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Table 1

Characteristics of the three major ecological groups of fungal plant pathogens

Citation: Termorshuizen A. 2017. Ecology of Fungal Plant Pathogens, p 387-397. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0013-2016

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