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Phytopathology
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Phytopathology

Phytopathology or Plant Pathology is the science of diagnosing and managing plant diseases. Its covers all infectious agents that attack plants and abiotic disorders but does not include herbivory.

Common plant pathogens (in order of importance) include species from these groups:

Fungi -- the most common pathogens (molds, rusts, and mildews).
Bacteria -- prokaryotic organsisms which include as many as 18 genera.
Roundworms -- both as pathogens and vectors, the only animal plant pathogens.
Viruses -- more than 700 are plant pathogens, comprised of only protein and DNA.
Viroids -- small, single-stranded RNA pathogens causing a dozen plus diseases.
Water molds -- such as Phytophthora infestans, potato blight.
Slime molds -- usually not actual pathogens but may be esthetically unpleasant.
Parasitic angiosperms -- plants that parasitize other plants, witchweed and mistletoe are common examples.

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