Exploring the origin of crop pathogens: host-specific toxin-producing pathogens as a case study
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In the agroecosystem, new diseases often occur within several years after the introduction of a new crop species or cultivar. These diseases, referred to as “man-made diseases”, appear only on newly introduced crops that are genetically susceptible to the pathogens. Because these new diseases appear very soon after the introduction of a new crop, the pathogen most likely did not arise by mutation after cultivation began, but was already present in the population as a potential pathogen. How do pathogens emerge in the field? How and where do potential pathogens live and maintain their pathogenicity until they meet a host crop? Information on the origin of crop pathogens is still very limited.
Since 1981, I have worked on Alternaria alternatapathogens, which produce host-specific toxins (HSTs). HSTs produced by fungal pathogens are generally low-molecular weight secondary metabolites with a diverse range of structures that function as effectors controlling pathogenicity or...
I express my deepest gratitude to all my colleagues and students for their enthusiastic collaboration and cooperation with this research. Most of this work was supported by Grants-in-Aid for research projects from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan.
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Conflict of interest
The author declares that he has no conflicts of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by the author.
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