Plant Pathosystems

A plant pathosystem is defined by the fact that the host population is a plant. The parasite is any species in which the individual spends a major part of its life cycle inhabiting one host individual. It may be an animal, such as an insect, mite, or nematode. A few Angiosperms, such as Cuscuta, Orobanche, and Striga, are also plant parasites. And the various categories of plant pathogens, such as fungi, bacteria, phytoplasmas, and viruses, are also parasites. However, a herbivore that grazes a population of plants is not considered part of a pathosystem, and it belongs to the wider concept of the ecosystem.

The two principle subsystems of a plant pathosystem are called the vertical subsystem (see 5), and the horizontal subsystem (see 6).

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