People love Top 10 Lists. So a ranking system of the ten most important phytopathogenic fungi on a scientific and economic level should be a big hit. If you don't want to spend five more minutes reading, the rice blast fungus (Magnaporthe oryzae) is at the top of the list.
The results were tabulated by a survey of 495 international researchers about the most important phytopathogenic fungi. Each researcher chose three that they thought to be most significant and the most voted then formed the list.
Dr. Antonio Di Pietro from the department of genetics in the University of Cordoba got to describe the fungus Fusarium oxysporum, in fifth place on the list. "Most of the pathogens on the list attack cereals like rice, wheat and maize. This is logical considering the huge importance of these crops in world agriculture. Nonetheless, it is important to highlight the presence of the fungi in second and fifth place on the list (Botrytis cinerea and Fusarium oxysporum, respectively). These are generalist, wide-ranging pathogens which can cause damage in more than one hundred different crop species."
Way out in first place, with almost double the votes of the distant second place finisher, is the rice blast fungus (Magnaporthe oryzae). Experts have highlighted the economic significance of this species as it can devastate rice paddies which are the food base for half the world's population. In second place is the fungus 'botrytis bunch rot' or 'grey mould' (Botrytis cinerea). This impacts in a variety of areas as it is a wide-ranging pathogen. It is also one of the few species on the list that also has a beneficial use due to its role in some stages of wine production.
In third place are the species that include the genus Puccinia, which mainly affect wheat crops, whilst in fourth and fifth place are two species from the Fusarium genus (Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium oxysporum). The first of these mainly damages cereal plantations whilst the latter can affect very different crops such as tomato, cotton or banana. Other cereal pathogens, namely Blumeria graminis and Mycosphaerella graminicola are in sixth and seventh place on the list.
In eighth place are species from the Colletotrichum genus which in particular affect plants with economic importance such as fruit and ornamental plants.
The corn smut fungus or huilacoche (Ustilago maydis) is an edible fungus native to Mexico. This is in ninth place due to its scientific interest and not for its economic impact as it does not have particularly devastating effects. This species and that which sits in tenth place; Melampsora lini, have important uses in the study of the molecular bases of plant immunity and infection processes.
Di Pietro highlights that with this list "the authors are trying to inform the public about the importance of phytopathogenic fungi as they represent a growing threat to global agriculture".
Citation: Ralph Dean, Jan A. L. Van Kan, Zacharias A. Pretorius, Kim E. Hammond-Kosack, Antonio Di Pietro, Pietro D. Spanu, Jason J. Rudd, Marty Dickman, Regine Kahmann, Jeff Ellis and Gary D. Foster. Molecular Plant Pathology. Volumen 13, mayo de 2012. DOI: 10.1111/J.1364-3703.2011.00783.X
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Robot Tongue Identifies The Correct Beer Every Time
- Mystery Of Morgellons - Disease Or Delusion - Scientific Hypothesis Of Connection With Lyme Disease
- Why Does The Public Worry About GM Foods But Embrace Biotech Medicine?
- Your Probiotic Probably Has Gluten
- Did The Scottish Settle Iceland A Century Before The Norse?
- Highest Energy Collisions ? Not In My Book
- Editorial Independence Or Extortion? Frontiers Sacks 31 Editors
- "I got an idea: clinical trial you mention doesn't seem ethical. It's a dangerous treatment, with..."
- "There have been clinical trials of prolonged anti-biotics after Lyme's. http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/treatment/prolonged/index..."
- "PNAS issues were well-known, yes, the incidents I wrote about were from 2002 on, but they had never..."
- "One has to believe that the author did not read the original article published in nature if they..."
- "Hank,I am not sure if you were the reason for the PNAS thing. I remember learning about the..."