The Top 10 fungal pathogens in molecular plant pathology

Magnaporthe oryzae
Magnaporthe oryzae

Gary has absolutely promised me this will be the last top 10 list. We’ll see 🙂

But here it is anyway, the results of Molecular Plant Pathology’s survey of fungal pathologists which asked them to nominate the fungal pathogens they would place in a ‘Top 10’ based on scientific/economic importance:

  1. Magnaporthe oryzae
  2.  Botrytis cinerea
  3.  Puccinia spp.
  4.  Fusarium graminearum
  5.  Fusarium oxysporum
  6.  Blumeria graminis
  7.  Mycosphaerella graminicola
  8.  Colletotrichum spp.
  9.  Ustilago maydis
  10.  Melampsora lini

Don’t agree? (personally I’d have put Botrytis cinerea at number 1) – complain to Molecular Plant Pathology not us!


The Top 10 fungal pathogens in molecular plant pathology. Mol Plant Pathol. 06 March 2012
The aim of this review was to survey all fungal pathologists with an association with the journal Molecular Plant Pathology and ask them to nominate which fungal pathogens they would place in a ‘Top 10’ based on scientific/economic importance. The survey generated 495 votes from the international community, and resulted in the generation of a Top 10 fungal plant pathogen list for Molecular Plant Pathology. The Top 10 list includes, in rank order, (1) Magnaporthe oryzae; (2) Botrytis cinerea; (3) Puccinia spp.; (4) Fusarium graminearum; (5) Fusarium oxysporum; (6) Blumeria graminis; (7) Mycosphaerella graminicola; (8) Colletotrichum spp.; (9) Ustilago maydis; (10) Melampsora lini, with honourable mentions for fungi just missing out on the Top 10, including Phakopsora pachyrhizi and Rhizoctonia solani. This article presents a short resumé of each fungus in the Top 10 list and its importance, with the intent of initiating discussion and debate amongst the plant mycology community, as well as laying down a bench-mark. It will be interesting to see in future years how perceptions change and what fungi will comprise any future Top 10.

AJ Cann

Alan Cann is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Leicester and formerly Internet Consulting Editor for AoB.


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