Senescence as a Factor in Latent Pathogen Infection in Eurasian Watermilfoil
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER VICKSBURG MS ENVIRONMENTAL LAB
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This technical note describes the results of a laboratory investigation conducted to evaluate how fungal endophytes may contribute to plant senescence. This has important implications for aquatic plant control because endophytes turned latent pathogens can induce rapid declines in plant populations. Endophytes are microorganisms that live asymptomatically within host tissues. They are broadly defined as organisms that colonize plant tissues at some time in their life without causing harm to their host. They include microorganisms associated with the rhizosphere, the phyllosphere and vascular tissues of living plants. They may include pathogenic organisms that remain latent between infection and manifestation of symptoms. Onset of symptoms is often associated with plant stress brought on by biotic or abiotic causes.