Plant Diseases: How Are They Transmitted?

One of the best ways to prevent or counter plant diseases is knowing how to protect your plants from disease transmitters or carriers. In a way, by knowing how these diseases are transmitted or spread, you can effectively execute preventive measures against certain plant diseases.

Diseases Caused By Viruses

A number of plant diseases caused by virus or viroid can spread through contact between diseased leaves and healthy ones. However, this type of plant diseases can mainly be transmitted through grafting branches or buds from diseased plants on healthy ones. This is made possible by roof grafts with parasitic dodder, which often makes vegetative propagation, a means to spread plant viruses as well.

Another transmitter of viral plant diseases are insects and mites. These are known as vectors of the virus. There is also a possibility of slugs, snails, birds, dogs, and rabbits to transmit a few type of viral plant disease. However, it rarely really happens.

Diseases Caused By Bacteria

Bacterial pathogens mainly enter plants through wounds, caused by humans, tools, animals, insects, or even adverse weather conditions. Nevertheless, these wounds serve as an entryway for pathogens like bacteria. Once a bacterium has entered the plant system, it will remain dormant as it multiplies and eventually cause a plant disease. It is then transmitted to other plants through abiotic factors such as wind and rain. Oftentimes, farmers and gardeners also unintentionally cause the transmission of bacterial diseases through grafting and pruning.

Diseases Caused By Fungi

Fungi are primarily spread by spores. These are usually carried by the wind currents, water currents, rain, dust, insects, birds, and remains of an infected plant. Another means of transmission is by a healthy plant’s exposure to vegetative fungal cells existing in dead plant components. However, vegetative fungal cells can easily be affected by climatic conditions. They can only survive temperatures ranging from −5 to 45 °C.

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