1932

Abstract

Abstract 

The ability to infect host flowers offers important ecological benefits to plant-parasitic fungi; not surprisingly, therefore, numerous fungal species from a wide range of taxonomic groups have adopted a life style that involves flower infection. Although flower-infecting fungi are very diverse, they can be classified readily into three major groups: opportunistic, unspecialized pathogens causing necrotic symptoms such as blossom blights (group 1), and specialist flower pathogens which infect inflorescences either through the gynoecium (group 2) or systemically through the apical meristem (group 3). This three-tier system is supported by life history attributes such as host range, mode of spore transmission, degree of host sterilization as a result of infection, and whether or not the fungus undergoes an obligate sexual cycle, produces resting spores in affected inflorescences, and is - or -selected. Across the three groups, the flower as an infection court poses important challenges for disease management. Ecologically and evolutionarily, terms and concepts borrowed from the study of venereal (sexually transmitted) diseases of animals do not adequately capture the range of strategies employed by fungi that infect flowers.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.phyto.44.070505.143405
2006-09-08
2024-06-22
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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