The precise scope of plant pathology (phytopathology), the study of disease in plants, is difficult to define. Plant pathology is concerned with all aspects of plant disease and thus has a much wider content than human pathology which is only one of the many aspects of disease in man including hygiene, public health, immunology, preventive medicine and therapy to mention but a few. This situation has arisen largely because much more effort has been directed towards investigating human diseases, for it is natural that man should seek to cure his own ills rather than those of plants. It is only within comparatively recent years that plant pathologists have begun to specialize in individual aspects of disease in plants, whereas those concerned with human diseases have done so for much longer. Considerable progress has been made in many aspects of plant pathology in the past 25 years or so. The literature is extensive and ever-increasing, so much so that it is becoming difficult to keep abreast of it, and pathologists are specializing in particular aspects of the subject.
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