Exotic Plant Diseases

1 – Introduction

Exotic Plant Pathogens

Plant pathogens include bacteria, fungi, nematodes (microscopic roundworms), oomycetes (water molds), viruses, and many other organisms that cause plant diseases.  Pathogens damage plants directly and impact trade.  They are common in agricultural and natural ecosystems.

As plants have moved around the world, so have their pathogens.  Exotic plant pathogens are not present in an area, or their distribution is limited.  Many exotics can cause severe damage, especially in new environments, or new host plants.  Management recommendations take time to develop, and are often site specific.  Exclusion of exotic pathogens is often the most effective approach.  Good sanitation practices and monitoring of plants aid in management of all diseases.

This course is divided into four modules: Bacteria and Phytoplasmas, Fungi, Oomycetes, and Viruses.  Each module gives background information on the group, and more specific information about exotic pathogens.  We encourage you to become familiar with the diseases commonly seen in your operation, to better recognize when something is different.  Reporting and submission information are included for samples with suspect symptoms.  Modules may be accessed from the main page, or from the “Modules” dropdown menu in the header .  Pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them.