<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Plant parasites and pathogens

The production of enough good-quality crops is essential to our existence. Plant diseases have ruined crops, bringing widespread famine. Most plant pathogens are fungi that cause tissue decay and eventual death of the host ( [link] ). In addition to destroying plant tissue directly, some plant pathogens spoil crops by producing potent toxins. Fungi are also responsible for food spoilage and the rotting of stored crops. For example, the fungus Claviceps purpurea causes ergot, a disease of cereal crops (especially of rye). Although the fungus reduces the yield of cereals, the effects of the ergot’s alkaloid toxins on humans and animals are of much greater significance: In animals, the disease is referred to as ergotism. The most common signs and symptoms are convulsions, hallucination, gangrene, and loss of milk in cattle. The active ingredient of ergot is lysergic acid, which is a precursor of the drug LSD. Smuts, rusts, and powdery or downy mildew are other examples of common fungal pathogens that affect crops.

Parts a, b, c, and d show fungal parasites on grapefruit, grapes, a zinnia, and a sheaf of barley, respectively.
Some fungal pathogens include (a) green mold on grapefruit, (b) fungus on grapes, (c) powdery mildew on a zinnia, and (d) stem rust on a sheaf of barley. Notice the brownish color of the fungus in (b) Botrytis cinerea , also referred to as the “noble rot,” which grows on grapes and other fruit. Controlled infection of grapes by Botrytis is used to produce strong and much-prized dessert wines. (credit a: modification of work by Scott Bauer, USDA ARS; credit b: modification of work by Stephen Ausmus, USDA ARS; credit c: modification of work by David Marshall, USDA ARS; credit d: modification of work by Joseph Smilanick, USDA ARS)

Aflatoxins are toxic and carcinogenic compounds released by fungi of the genus Aspergillus . Periodically, harvests of nuts and grains are tainted by aflatoxins, leading to massive recall of produce, sometimes ruining producers, and causing food shortages in developing countries.

Animal and human parasites and pathogens

Fungi can affect animals, including humans, in several ways. Fungi attack animals directly by colonizing and destroying tissues. Humans and other animals can be poisoned by eating toxic mushrooms or foods contaminated by fungi. In addition, individuals who display hypersensitivity to molds and spores develop strong and dangerous allergic reactions. Fungal infections are generally very difficult to treat because, unlike bacteria, fungi are eukaryotes. Antibiotics only target prokaryotic cells, whereas compounds that kill fungi also adversely affect the eukaryotic animal host.

Many fungal infections ( mycoses ) are superficial and termed cutaneous (meaning “skin”) mycoses. They are usually visible on the skin of the animal. Fungi that cause the superficial mycoses of the epidermis, hair, and nails rarely spread to the underlying tissue ( [link] ). These fungi are often misnamed “dermatophytes” from the Greek dermis skin and phyte plant, but they are not plants. Dermatophytes are also called “ringworms” because of the red ring that they cause on skin (although the ring is caused by fungi, not a worm). These fungi secrete extracellular enzymes that break down keratin (a protein found in hair, skin, and nails), causing a number of conditions such as athlete’s foot, jock itch, and other cutaneous fungal infections. These conditions are usually treated with over-the-counter topical creams and powders, and are easily cleared. More persistent, superficial mycoses may require prescription oral medications.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Good
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Principles of biology. OpenStax CNX. Aug 09, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11569/1.25
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Principles of biology' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask