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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 759 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PATHOLOGY OF PLANTS " Phytopathology " or plant pathology (Gr. dmrov, plant), comprises our knowledge of the symptoms, course, causes and remedies of the maladies which threaten the life of plants, or which result in abnormalities of structure that are regarded, whether directly injurious or not to life, as unsightly or undesirable. In its systematized form, as a branch of botanical study, it is of recent date, and, as now understood, the subject first received special attention about 185o, when the nature of parasitism began to be intelligible; but many disjointed references to diseased conditions of plants had appeared long before this. The existence of blights and mildews of cereals had been observed and recorded in very ancient times, as witness the Bible, where half a dozen references to such scourges occur in the Old Testament alone. The epidemic nature of wheat-rust was known to Aristotle about 350 B.C., and the Greeks and Romans knew these epidemics well, their philosophers having shrewd speculations as to causes, while the people held characteristic superstitions regarding them, which found vent in the dedication of special festivals and deities to the pests. Pliny knew that flies emerge from galls. The few records during the middle ages are borne out by what is known of famines and pestilence. Shakespeare's reference in King Lear (Act HI., sc. iv.) may be quoted as evincing acquaintance with mildew in the 17th century, as also the interesting Rouen law of Loverdo (166o). Malpighi in 1679 gave excellent figures and accounts of leaf-rolling and gall insects, and Grew in 1682 equally good descriptions of a leaf-mining caterpillar. During the 18th century more academic treatment of the subject began to replace the scattered notes. Hales (1727–1733) discussed the rotting of wounds, cankers, &c., but much had to be done with the microscope before any real progress was possible, and it is easily intelligible that until the theory of nutrition of the higher plants had been founded by the work of Ingenhouss, Priestley and De Saussure, the way was not even prepared for accurate knowledge of cryptogamic parasites and the diseases they induce. It was not till De Bary (1866) made known the true nature of parasitic Fungi, based on his researches between 1853-1863, that the vast domain of epidemic diseases of plants was opened up to fruitful investigation, and such modern treatises as those of Frank (188o and 1895), Sorauer (1886), Kirchner (189o), were gradually made possible. Plant pathology embraces several branches of study, and may be conveniently divided as follows: I. The observation and accurate description of symptoms (Diagnosis). 2. The study of causes or agencies inducing disease (Aetiology). 3. The practise of preventive and remedial measures (Therapeutics). In plants, however, the symptoms of disease are apt to exhibit themselves in a very general manner. Our perceptions differentiate but imperfectly symptoms which are due to very different causes and reactions, probably because the organization of the plant is so much less highly specialized than that of higher animals. The yellowing and subsequent casting of leaves, for instance, is a very general symptom of disease in plants, and may be induced by drought, extremes of temperature, insufficient or excessive illumination, excess of water at the roots, the action of parasitic Fungi, insects, worms, &c., or of poisonous gases, and so forth; and extreme caution is necessary in dealing with amateur descriptions of such symptoms, especially when the untrained eye has taken no cognisance of, or has only vaguely observed, the numerous collateral circumstances of the case. The causes of disease may be provisionally classified somewhat as follows, but it may he remarked at the outset that no one of these proximal causes, or agents, is ever solely responsible; and it is very easy to err in attributing a diseased condition to any of them, unless the relative importance of primary and subordinate agencies is discoverable. For instance, a Fungus epidemic is impossible unless the climatic conditions are such as to favour the dispersal and germination of the spores; and when plants are killed off owitig to the supersaturation of the soil with water, it is by no means obvious whether the excess of water and dissolved materials, or the exclusion of oxygen from the root-hairs, or the lowering of the temperature, or the accumulation of foul products of decomposition should be put into the foreground. In every case there are chains of causation concerned,and the same factors will be differently grouped in different cases. Bearing in mind these precautions, we may classify the proximal causal agents of disease as I.—External agencies. A. Non-living. b. Non-material. a. Material. i. Temperature. i. Physical— 2. Illumination. Soil. 3. Other agencies. Water. B. Living. Atmosphere. a. Animals. 2. Chemical— I. Vertebrata. Soil. 2. Invertebrata. Water. b. Plants. Atmosphere. i. Phanerogams. 2. Cryptogams. II.—Internal agencies. While such a classification may serve its purpose as a sort of index, it must be confessed that the limits of its usefulness are soon reached. In the first place, the so-called " internal causes " of disease is probably a mere phrase covering our ignorance of the factors at work, and although a certain convenience attaches to the distinction between those cases where tender breeds of plants apparently exhibit internal predisposition to suffer more readily than others from parasites, low temperatures, excessive growth, &c.—as is the case with some grafted plants, cultivated hybrids, &c.—the mystery involved in the phrase " internal causes " only exists until we find what action of the living or non-living environment of the essential mechanism of the plant has upset its equilibrium. I.—Passing to the recognized external agencies, the physical condition of the soil is a fruitful source of disease. If too closely packed, the soil particles present mechanical obstacles to growth; if too retentive of moisture, the root-hairs suffer, as already hinted; if too open or over-drained, the plant succumbs to drought. All those properties of soil known as texture, porosity, depth, inclination to the horizon, &c., are concerned here. Many maladies of plants are traceable to the chemical composition of soils—e.g. deficiency of nutritive salts, especially nitrates and phosphates; the presence of poisonous salts of iron, copper, &c., or (in the soil about the roots of trees in towns) of coal-gas and so forth. But it is worthy of special attention that the mere chemical composition of agricultural and garden soils is, as a rule, the least important feature about them, popular opinion to the contrary notwithstanding. Ordinary soils will almost always provide the necessary chemical ingredients if of proper physical texture, depth, &c. (see FUNGI and BACTERIOLOGY). As regards water, its deficiency or excess is a relative matter, and although many of the minor maladies of pot-plants in windows and greenhouses controlled by amateurs depend on its misuse, water alone is probably never a primary cause of disease. Its over-supply is, however, a frequent cause of predisposition to the attacks of parasitic Fungi—e.g. the damping off of seedlings—and in saturated soils not only are the roots and root-hairs killed by asphyxiation, but the whole course of soil fermentation is altered, and it takes time to " sweeten " such by draining, because not only must the noxious bodies be gradually washed out and the lost salts restored, but the balance of suitable bacterial and fungal life must be restored. The atmosphere is a cause of disease in the neighbourhood of chemical works, large towns, volcanoes, &c., in so far as it carries acid gases and poisons to the leaves and roots; but it is usual to associate with it the action of excessive humidity which brings about those tender watery and more or less etiolated conditions which favour parasitic Fungi, and diminish transpiration and there-fore nutrition. It is customary to speak of the disastrous effects of cold winds, snow, hail and frost, lightning, &c., under the heading of atmospheric influences, which only shows once more how impossible it is to separate causes individually. Turning to the non-material external agents, probably no factors are more responsible for ill-health in plants than temperature andlight. Every plant is constrained to carry out its functions of germination, growth, nutrition, reproduction, &c., between certain limits of temperature, and somewhere between the extremes of these limits each function finds an optimum temperature at which the working of the living machinery is at its best, and, other things being equal, any great departure from this may induce pathological conditions; and many disasters are due to the failure to provide such suitable temperatures—e.g. in greenhouses where plants requiring very different optimum temperatures and illumination are kept together. Equally disastrous are those climatic or seasonal changes which involve temperatures in themselves not excessive but in wrong sequence; how many more useful plants could be grown in the open in the United Kingdom if the deceptively mild springs were not so often followed by frosts in May and June! The indirect effects of temperature are also important. Trees, of which the young buds are " nipped " by frost, would frequently not suffer material injury, were it not that the small frost-cracks serve as points of entry for Fungi; and numerous cases are known where even high temperatures can be endured on rich, deep, retentive soils by plants which at once succumb to drought on shallow or non-retentive soils. All chlorophyll plants require light, but in very different degrees, as exemplified even in the United Kingdom by the shade-bearing beech and yew contrasted with the light-demanding larch and birch ; and as with temperature so with light, every plant and even every organ has its optimum of illumination. The " drawn " or etiolated condition of over-shaded plants is a case in point, though here again the soft, watery plant often really succumbs to other disease agents—e.g. parasitic Fungi—supervening on its non-resistant condition. Animals and plants as agents of disease or injury form part of the larger subject of the struggle for existence between living organisms, as is recognized even by those who do not so readily apprehend that diseased conditions in general are always signs of defeat in the struggle for existence between the suffering organism and its environment, living and non-living. The Vertebrata come within the scope of our subject, chiefly as destructive agents which cause wounds or devour young shoots and foliage, &c. Rabbits and other burrowing animals injure roots, squirrels and birds snip off buds, horned cattle strip off bark, and so forth. It is among the Invertebrata that epidemics of destruction are referred to, though we should bear in mind that it is only the difference in numerical proportion that prevents our speaking of an epidemic of elephants or of rabbits, though we use the term when speaking of blight insects; there is little consistency in the matter, as it is usual to speak of an invasion or scourge of locusts, caterpillars, &c. Insect injuries are very varied in degree and in kind. Locusts devour all before them; caterpillars defoliate -_ plant, and necessitate the premature utilization of its reserves; other insects (e.g. Grapholitha) eat the buds or the roots (e.g. wire-worms), and so maim the plant that its foliage suffers from want of water and assimilation is diminished, or actual withering follows. Many aphides, &c., puncture the leaves, suck out the sap, and induce va: ious local deformations, arrest of growth, pustular swellings, &c., and if numerous all the evils of defoliation may follow. Others (e.g. miners) tunnel into the leaf parenchyma, and so put the assimilating areas out of action in another way. It should be remembered that a single complete defoliation of a herbaceous annual may so incapacitate the assimilation that no stores are available for seeds, tubers, &c., for another year, or at most so little that feeble plants only come up. In the case of a tree matters run somewhat differently; most large trees in full foliage have far more assimilatory surface than is immediately necessary, and if the injury is confined to a single year it may be a small event in the life of the tree, but if repeated the cambium, bud-stores and fruiting may all suffer. Many larvae of beetles, moths, &c., bore into bark, and injure the cambium, or even the wood and pith; in addition to direct injury, the interference with the transpiration current and the access of other parasites through the wounds are also to be feared in proportion to the numbers of insects at work. Various local hypertrophies, including galls, result from the increased growth of young tissues irritated by the punctures of insects, or by the presence of eggs or larvae left behind. They may occur on all parts, buds, leaves, stems or roots, as shown by the numerous species of Cynips on oak, Phylloxera on vines, &c. The local damage is small, but the general injury to assimilation, absorption and other functions, may be important if the numbers increase. In addition to insects, various kinds of worms, molluscs, &c., are sometimes of importance as pests. The so-called eel-worms (Nematodes) may do immense damage on roots and in the grains of cereals, and every one knows how predatory slugs and snails are. (See ECONOMIC ENTOMOLOGY.) Plants as agents of damage and disease may be divided into those larger forms which as weeds, epiphytes and so forth, do injury by dominating and shading more delicate species, or by gradually exhausting the soil, &c., and true parasites which actually live on and in the tissues of the plants. It must be remembered that phanerogams also include parasitic species—e.g. Cuscuta, Loranthus, Viscum, Thesium, Rhinanthus, &c.—with various capacities for injury. These enemies are as a rule so conspicuous that we do not look on their depredations as diseases, though the gradual deterioration of hay under the exhausting effects of root-parasites like Rhinanthus, and the onslaught of Cuscuta when unduly abundant, should teach us how unimportant to the definition the question of size may be. It is, however, among the Fungi that we find the most disastrous and elusive agents of disease. Parasitic Fungi may be, as regards their direct action, purely local—e.g. Schinzia, which forms gall-like swellings on the roots of rushes; Gymnosporangium, causing excrescences on juniper stems; numerous leaf Fungi such as Puccinia, Aecidium, Septoria, &c., causing yellow, brown or black spots on leaves; or Ustilago in the anthers of certain flowers. In such cases the immediate damage done may be slight; but the effects of prolonged action and the summation of numerous attacks at numerous points are often enormous, certain of these leaf-diseases costing millions sterling annually to some planting and agricultural communities. In other cases the Fungus is virulent and rampant, and, instead of a local effect, exerts a general destructive action throughout the plant--e.g. Pythium, which causes the " damping off " of seedlings, reducing them to a putrid mass in a few hours, and Phytophthora, the agent of the potato disease. Many Fungi, in themselves not very aggressive, slowly bring about important and far-reaching secondary effects. Thus, many Hymenomycetes (Agarics, Polyporei, &c.) live on the wood of trees. This wood is in great part already dead substance, but the mycelium gradually invades the vessels occupied with the transmission of water up the trunk, cuts off the current, and so kills the tree; in other cases such Fungi attack the roots, and so induce rot and starvation of oxygen, resulting in " fouling." Numerous Fungi, though conspicuous as parasites, cannot be said to do much individual injury to the host. The extraordinary malformations known as " Witches' Brooms," caused by the repeated branching and tufting of twigs in which the mycelium of Exoascus (on birch) or Aecidium (on silver fir) are living, may be borne in considerable numbers for years without any very extensive apparent injury to the tree. Again, the curious distortions on the stems of nettles attacked by the Aecidium form of the heteroecious Puccina Caricis (see FUNGI for Heteroecism), or on maize stems and leaves attacked by Ustilago Maydis, or on the inflorescence of crucifers infested with Cystopus, &c., are not individually very destructive; it is the cumulative effects of numerous attacks or of extensive epidemics which eventually tell. Some very curious details are observable in these cases of malformation, For instance, the Aecidium elatinum first referred to causes the new shoots to differ in direction, duration and arrangement, and even shape of foliage leaves from the normal; and the shoots of Euphorbia infected with the aecidia of Uromyces Pisi depart so much from the normal in appearance that the attacked plants have been taken for a different species. Similarly with Anemone infested with Puccinia and Vacciniusn with Calyptospora, and many other cases of deformations due to hypertrophy or atrophy. In-stances of what we may term tolerated parasitism, where the host plant seems to accommodate itself very well to the presence of the Fungus, paying the tax it extorts and nevertheless not succumbing but managing to provide itself with sufficient material to go on with, are not rare; and these seem to lead to those cases where the mutual accommodation between host and guest has been carried so far that each derives some benefit from the association—symbiosis (see FUNGI). II. The kinds of disease due to these various agencies are very different. A plant may be diseased as a whole, because nearly all its tissues are in a morbid or pathological condition, owing to some Fungus pervading the whole—e.g. Pythium in seedlings—or to a poison diffusing from cell to cell; in the case of unicellular plants—e.g. an alga infested with a Chytridium—indeed, matters can hardly be otherwise. But the case is obviously different where a plant dies because some essential organ or tissue tract has been destroyed, and other parts have suffered because supplies are cut off—e.g. when the upper parts of a tree die off owing to destruction of the roots, or to the ringing of the stem lower down; and consequent interference with the transpiration current. In a large number of cases, however, the disease is purely local, and does not itself extend far into the organ or tissue affected. If a mass of living plant-tissue is cut, the first change observed is one of colour: the white " flesh " of a potato or an apple turns brown as the air enters, and closer examination shows that cell walls and contents are alike affected. The cut cells die, and oxidized products are concerned in the change of colour, the brown juices exuding and soaking into the cell-walls. The next change observable after some hours is that the untouched cells below the cut grow larger, push up the dead surface, and divide by walls tangential to it, with the formation of tabloid cork-cells. The layer of cork thus formed cuts out the dead debris and serves to. protect the uninjured cells below. Such healing by cork formation is accompanied by a rise of temperature: the active growth of the dividing cells is accompanied by vigorous metabolism and respiration, and a state of " wound fever " supervenes until the healing is completed. The phenomena described occur in all cases of cicatrization of wounds in nature—e.g. leaf-tissue, young stems, roots, &c., when cut or pierced by insects, thorns and so forth. They are concerned in the occlusion of broken twigs and of falling leaves, andit is from the actively growing " callus " developed at the surface of the wounded tissues of cuttings, buddings, prunings, &c., that the healing and .renewal of tissues occur of which advantage is taken in the practice of what might well be termed plant surgery. A third phenomenon observable in such healing tissues is the increased flow and accumulation of plastic materials at the seat of injury. The enhanced metabolism creates a current of draught on the supplies of available food-stuffs around. The phenomenon of irritability here concerned is well shown in certain cases where a parasitic organism gains access to a cell—e.g. Pleotrachelus causes the invaded Pilobolus to swell up, and changes the whole course of its cell metabolism, and similarly with Plasmodiophora in the roots of turnips, and many other cases. Irritation and hypertrophy of cells are common signs of the presence of parasites, as evinced by the numerous malformations, galls, witches'-brooms, &c., on diseased plants. The now well-known fact that small doses of poisonous substances may act as stimuli to living protoplasm, and that respiratory activity and growth may be accelerated by chloroform, ether and even powerful mineral poisons, such as mercuric chloride, in minimal doses, offers some explanation of these phenomena of hypertrophy, " wound fever," and other responses to the presence of irritating agents. Still further insight is afforded by our increasing knowledge of the enzymes, and it is to be remarked that both poisons and enzymes are very common in just such parasitic Fungi as induce discolorations, hypertrophies and the death of cells—e.g. Botrytis, Ergot, &c. Now it is clear that if an organism gains access to all parts of a plant, and stimulates all or most of its cells to hypertrophy, we may have the latter behaving abnormally—i.e. it maybe diseased through-out; and such actually occurs in the case of Euphorbia pervaded with Uromyces Pisi, the presence of which alters the whole aspect of the host-plant. If such a general parasite carries its activities farther, every cell may be killed and the plant forthwith destroyed—e.g. Phytophthora in potatoes. If, on the other hand, the irritating agent is local in its action, causing only a few cells to react, we have the various pimples, excrescences, outgrowths, &c., exhibited in such cases as Ustilago Maydis on the maize, various galls, witches'-brooms, &c. It must not be overlooked that the living cells of the plant react upon the parasite as well as to all external agencies, and the nature of disease becomes intelligible only if we bear in mind that it consists in such altered metabolism—deflected physiology—as is here implied. The reaction of the cells may be in two directions, moreover. For instance, suppose the effect of a falling temperature is to so modify the metabolism of the cells that they fill up more and more with watery sap; as the freezing-point is reached this may result in destructive changes, and death from cold may result. If, on the contrary, the gradual cooling is met by a corresponding depletion of the cells of water, even intense cold may be sustained without injury. Or. take another case. If the attack of a parasite is met by the formation of some substance in the protoplasm which is chemotactically repulsive to the invader, it may be totally incapable of penetrating the cell, even though equipped with a whole armoury of cytases, diastatic and other enzymes, and poisons which would easily overcome the more passive resistances offered by mere cell-walls and cell-contents of other plants, the protoplasm of which forms bodies chemotactically attractive to the Fungus. The various degrees of parasitism are to a certain extent explained by the foregoing. In order that a Fungus may enter a plant, it must be able to overcome not merely the resistance of cell-walls, but that of the living protoplasm; if it cannot do this, it must remain outside as a mere epiphyte, e.g. Fumago, Herpotrichia, &c., or, at most, vegetate in the intercellular spaces and anchor itself to the cell-walls, e.g. Trichosphaeria. The inability to enter the cells may be due to the lack of chemotactic bodies, to incapacity to form cellulose-dissolving enzymes, to the existence in the host-cells of antagonistic bodies which neutralize or destroy the acids, enzymes or poisons formed by the hyphae, or even to the formation and excretion of bodies which poison the Fungus. But even when inside it does not follow that the Fungus can kill the cell, and many cases are known where the Fungus can break through the cell's first lines of defence (cell-wall and protoplasmic lining); but the struggle goes on at close quarters, and various degrees of hypertrophy, accumulation of plastic bodies or secretions, discolorations, &c., ,indicate the suffering of the still living cell. Finally, cases occur where the invaded cell so adapts itself to the presence of the intruder that life in common—symbiosis—results. The dissemination of plant parasites is favoured by many circumstances not always obvious, whence an air of mystery regarding epidemics was easily created in earlier times. The spores of Rusts, Erysipheae and other Fungi may be conveyed from plant to plant by snails; those of tree-killing polyporei, &c., by mice, rabbits, rats, &c., which rub their fur against the hymenophores. Bees carry the spores of Sclerotinia as they do the pollen of the bilberries, and flies convey the conidia of ergot from grain to grain. Insects, indeed, are largely concerned in disseminating Fungi, either on their bodies or via the alimentary canal. Worms bring spores to the surface of soil, ducks and other birds convey them on their muddy feet, and, as is well-known, wind and other physical agencies are very efficient in dissemination. The part played by man also counts for much. Gardeners and farm labourers convey spores from one bed or field to another; carted soil, manure, &c., may abound in spores of Smuts, Fusarium, Polyporei and in sclerotia; and articles through the post and so forth often carry infective spores. Every time a carpenter saws fresh timber with a saw recently put through wood attacked with dry-rot, he risks infecting it with the Fungus; and similarly in pruning, in propagating by cuttings, &c. The annual losses due to epidemic plant diseases attain pro-portions not easily estimated. As regards money value alone the following figures may serve in illustration. In 1882 the United States was calculated to have lost £40,000,000 to £60,000,000from insect and other pests. The wheat-rust costs Australia £2,000,000 to £3,000,000 annually, and in 1891 alone the loss which Prussia suffered from grain-rusts was estimated at £20,000,000 sterling. The terrible losses sustained by whole communities of farmers, planters, foresters, &c., from plant diseases have naturally stimulated the search for remedies, but even now the search is too often conducted in the spirit of the believer in quack medicines, although the agricultural world is awakening to the fact that before any measures likely to be successful can be attempted, the whole chain of causation of the disease must be investigated. Experience with epidemics, dearly bought in the past, has shown that one fruitful cause is the laying open to the inroads of some Fungus or insect, hitherto leading a quiet endemic life in the fields and forests, large tracts of its special food, along which it may range rampant without check to its dispersal, nutrition and reproduction. Numerous wild hypotheses as to changes in the constitution of the host-plant, leading to supposed vulnerability previously non-existent, would probably never have seen the light had the full significance of the truth been grasped that an epidemic results when the external factors favour a parasite somewhat more than they do the host. It may be that in particular cases particular modes of cultivation disfavour the host; or that the soil, climate or seasons do so; but overwhelming evidence exists to show that the principal causes of epidemics reside in circumstances which favour the spread, nutrition and reproduction of the pest, and the lesson to be learnt is that precautions against the establishment of such favouring conditions must be sought. Nevertheless, epidemics occur, and practical measures are devised to meet the various cases and to check the ravages already begun. The procedure consists in most cases in spraying the affected plants with poisonous solutions or emulsions, or in dusting them with fungicidal or insecticidal powders, or applying the fumes of lethal gases. For the composition of the numerous liquids and powders special works must be consulted, but the following principles apply generally. The poison must not be strong enough to injure the roots, leaves, &c., of the host-plant, or allowed to act long enough to bring about such injury. Care and intelligence are especially needful with certain insecticides such as poisonous gases, or the operators may suffer. It is worse than useless to apply drastic remedies if the main facts cf the life-history of the pest are not known; e.g. the application of ordinary antiseptic powders to leaves inside which a Fungus, such as a Uredo or Ustilago, is growing can only result in failure, and similarly if tobacco fumes, for instance, are applied when the insects concerned are hibernating in the ground beneath. Such applications at the moment when spores are germinating on the leaves, e.g. Peronospora, or to the young mycelia of epiphytic parasites, e.g. Erysiphe, or the steeping in hot water of thoroughly ripe hard grains to which spores are attached, e.g. Ustilago, and filling a greenhouse with hydrocyanic acid gas when young insects are commencing their ravages, e.g. Red-spider—all these and similar procedures timed to,catch the pest at a vulnerable stage are intelligent and profitable prophylactic measures, as has been repeatedly shown. Numerous special methods of preventing the spread of Fungi, or the migrations of insects, or of trapping various animals; of leaving infested ground fallow, or of growing another crop useless to the pest, &c., are also to be found in the practical treatises. More indirect methods, such as the grafting of less resistant scions on more vigorous stocks, of raising special late or early varieties by crossing or selection, and so on, have also met with ,success; but it must be understood that " resistant " in such cases usually means that some peculiarity of quick growth, early ripening or other life-feature in the plant is for the time being taken advantage of. Among the most interesting modern means of waging war against epidemic pests is that of introducing other epidemics among the pests themselves—e.g. the infection of rats and mice with disease bacilli, or of locusts with insect-killing Fungi, and signs of the successful carrying out of such measures are not wanting. That the encouragement of insectivorous birds has been profitable is well established, and it is equally well-known that their destruction may lead to disastrous insect plagues. Diseases anti Symptoms.—The symptoms of plant diseases are, as already said, apt to be very general in their nature, and are sometimes so vaguely defined that little can be learned from them as to the causes at work. We may often distinguish between primary symptoms and secondary or subordinatesymptoms, but for the purposes of classification in an article of this scope we shall only attempt to group the various cases under the more obvious signs of disease exhibited. 1. Discolorations are among the commonest of all signs that a plant is " sickly " or diseased. The principal symptom may show itself in general pallor, including all cases where the normal healthy green hue is replaced by a sickly yellowish hue indicating that the chlorophyll apparatus is deficient. It may be due to insufficient illumination (Etiolation), as seen in geraniums kept in too shaded a situation, and is then accompanied by soft tissues, elongation of internodes, leaves usually reduced in size, &c. The laying of wheat is a particular case. False etiolation may occur from too low a temperature, often seen in young wheat in cold springs. Cases of pallor due to too intense illumination and. destruction of chlorophyll must also be distinguished. Chlorosis is a form of pallor where the chlorophyll remains in abeyance owing to a want of iron, and can be cured by adding ferrous salts. Lack of other ingredients may also induce chlorotic conditions. Yellowing is a common sign of water-logged roots, and if accompanied by wilting may be due to drought. Over-transpiration in bright wintry weather, when the roots are not absorbing, often results in yellowing. In other cases the presence of insects, Fungi or poisons at the roots may be looked for. Albinism, with which variegated foliage may be considered, concerns a different set of causes, still obscure, and usually regarded as internal, though experiments go to show that some variegations are infectious. 2. Spotted Leaves, &c.—Discoloured spots or patches on leaves and other herbaceous parts are common symptoms of disease, and often furnish clues to identification of causes, though it must be remembered that no sharp line divides this class of symptoms from the preceding. By far the greater number of spot-diseases are due to Fungi, as indicated by the numerous " leaf-diseases " described, but such is by no means always the case. The spot or patch is an area of injury; on (or in) it the cell-contents are suffering destruction from shading, blocking of stomata, loss of substance or direct mechanical injury, and the plant suffers in proportion to the area of leaf surface put out of action. It is somewhat artificial to classify these diseases according to the colour of the spots, and often impossible, because the colour may differ according to the age of the part attacked and the stage of injury attained; many Fungi, for instance, induce yellow spots which become red, brown or black as they get older, and so on. White or grey spots may be due to Peronospora, Erysiphe, Cystopus, Entyloma and other Fungi, the mycelium of which will be detected in the discoloured area; or they may be scale insects, or the results of punctures by Red-spider, &c. Yellow spots, and especially bright orange spots, commonly indicate Rust Fungi or other Uredineae; but Phyllosticta, Exoascus, Clasterosporium, Synchytrium, &c., also induce similar symptoms. Certain Aphides, Red-spider, Phylloxera and other insects also betray their presence by such spots. It is a very common event to find the early stages of injury indicated by pale yellow spots, which turn darker, brown, red, black, &c., later, e.g. Dilophia, Rhytisma, &c. Moreover, variegations deceptively like these disease spots are known, e.g. Senecio Kaempferi. Red- spots may indicate the presence of Fungi, e.g. Potystigma, or insects, e.g. Phytoptus. Brown spots are characteristic of Phytophthora, Puccinia, &c., and black ones of Fusicladium, Ustilago, Rhytisma, &c. Both are common as advanced symptoms of destruction by Fungi and insects. Brilliantly coloured spots and patches follow the action of acid fumes on the vegetation near towns and factories, and such parti-coloured leaves often present striking resemblance to autumn foliage. Symptoms of scorching owing to abnormal insolatione.g. in greenhouses where the sun's rays are concentrated on particular spots—and a certain class of obscure diseases, Such as " silver-leaf " in plums, " foxy leaves " in various plants, may also be placed here. 3. Wounds.—The principal phenomena resulting from a simple wound, and the response of the irritated cells in healing by cork and in the formation of callus, have been indicated above. Any clean cut, fracture or bruise which injures the cambium over a limited area is met with the same response. The injured cells die and turn brown; the living cells beneath grow out, and form cork, and under the released pressure bulge outwards and repeatedly divide, forming a mass of succulent regenerative tissue known as callus. Living cells of the pith, phloem, cortex, &c., may also co-operate in this formation of regenerative tissue, and if the wound is a mere knife-cut in the " bark," the protruding lips of callus formed at the edges of the wound soon meet, and the slit is healed over—occluded. If a piece of bark and cortex are torn off, the occlusion takes longer, because the tissues have to creep over the exposed area of wood; and the same is true of a transverse cut severing the branch, as may be seen in any properly pruned tree. Wounds may be artificially grouped under such heads as the following: Burrows and excavations in bark and wood due to boring insects, especially beetles. Breakages and abrasions due to wind, snow, lightning, and other climatic agents. Cuts, break-ages, &c., due to man and other vertebrate animals. Erosions of leaves and herbaceous parts by caterpillars, slugs, earwigs and so forth. Frost-cracks, scorching of bark by sun and fire, &c., and 758 wounds due to plants which entwine, pierce or otherwise materially injure trees, &c., on a large scale. 4. Excrescences.—Out growths, more or less abnormal in character, are frequent signs of diseased organs. They are due to hyper-trophy of young tissues, which may undergo profound alterations subsequently, and occur on all parts of the plants. The injury which initiates them may be very slight in the first place—a mere abrasion, puncture or Fungus infection—but the minute wound or other disturbance, instead of healing over normally, is frequently maintained as a perennial source of irritation, and the regenerative tissues grow on month after month or year after year, resulting in extraordinary outgrowths often of large size and remarkable shape. Excrescences may be divided into those occurring on herbaceous tissues, of which Galls are well-known examples, and those found on the woody stem, branches, &c., and themselves eventually woody, of which Burrs of various kinds afford common illustrations. Among the simplest examples of the former are the hairs which follow the irritation of the cells by mites. These hairs often occur in tufts, and are so coloured and arranged that they were long taken for Fungi and placed in the " genus " Erineum. Cecidia or galls arise by the hypertrophy of the subepidermal cells of a leaf, cortex, &c., which has been pierced by the ovipositor of an insect, and in which the egg is deposited. The irritation set up by the hatching egg and its resulting larva appears to be the stimulus to development, and nct a poison or enzyme injected by the insect. The extraordinary forms, colours and textures of the true galls have always formed some of the most interesting of biological questions, for not only is there definite co-operation between a given species of insect and of plant, as shown by the facts that the same insect may induce galls of different kinds on different plants or organs, while different insects induce different galls on the same plant—e.g. the numerous galls on the oak—but the gall itself furnishes well adapted protection and abundant stores of nutriment to its particular larva, and often appears to be borne without injury to the plant. This latter fact is no doubt due to the production of an excess of plastic materials over and above what the tree requires for its immediate needs. Galls in the wide sense—technically Cecidia—are not always due to insects. The nodules on the roots of leguminous plants are induced by the presence of a minute organism now known to do no injury to the plant. Those on turnips and other Cruciferae are due to the infection of Plasmodiophora, a dangerously parasitic Myxomycete. Nodules due to " eel-worms " (Nematodes) are produced on numerous classes of plants, and frequently result in great losses—e.g. tomatoes, cucumbers, &c.; and the only too well known Phylloxera, which cost France and other vine-growing countries many millions sterling, is another case in point. Fungus-galls on leaves and stems are exemplified by the " pocket-plums " caused by the Exoasceae, the black blistering swellings of Ustilago Maydis, the yellow swellings on nettles due to Aecidium, &c. In many cases the swellings on leaves are minute, and may be termed pustules—e.g. those due to Synchytrium, Protomyces, Cysto pus, many Ustilagineae, &c. These cases are not easily distinguished superficially from the pustular outgrowth of actual mycelia and spores (stromata) of such Fungi as Nectria, Puccinia, &c. The cylindrical stem-swellings due to Calyptospora, Epichloe; &c., may also be mentioned here, and the tyro may easily confound with these the layers and cushions of eggs laid on similar organs by moths. There is a class of gall-like or pustular outgrowths for which no external cause has as yet been determined, and which are therefore often ascribed to internal causes of disease. Such are the cork-warts on elms, maples, &c., and the class of outgrowths known as Intumescences. Recent researches point to definite external conditions of moisture, affecting the processes of respiration and transpiration, &c., as being responsible for some of these. The " scab " of potatoes is another case in point. Frost blisters are pustular swellings due to the up-growth of callus-tissue into cavities caused by the uprising of the superficial cortex under the action of intense cold. Turning now to outgrowths of a woody nature, the well-known burrs or " knaurs," so common on elms and other trees are cases in point. They are due to some injury—e.g. bruising by a cart-wheel, insects--having started a callus on which adventitious buds arise, or to the destruction of buds at an early stage. Then, stores of food-material being accumulated at the injured place, other buds arise at the base of or around the injured one. If matters are propitious to the development of these buds, then a tuft of twigs is formed and no burr; but if the incipient twigs are also destroyed at an early stage, new buds are again formed, and in larger numbers than before, and the continued repetition of these processes leads to a sort of conglomerate woody mass of fused bud-bases, not dead, but unable to grow out, and thus each contributing a crowded portion of woody material as it slowly grows. There are many varieties of burrs, though all woody outgrowths of old trees are not to be confounded with them, e.g. the " knees " of Taxodium, &c. Many typical burrs might be described as witches'-brooms, with all the twigs arrested to extremely short outgrowths. Witches'-brooms are the tufted bunches of twigs found on silver firs, birches and other trees, and often present resemblances to birds' nests or clumps of mistletoe if only seen from a distance.[PATHOLOGY They are branches in which a perennial Fungus (Aecidium, Exoascus, &c.) has obtained a hold. This Fungus stimulates the main twig to shoot out more twigs than usual; the mycelium then enters each incipient twig and stimulates it to a repetition of the process, and so in the course of years large broom-like tufts result, often markedly different from the normal. But undoubtedly the most important of the woody excrescences on trees are cankers. A canker is the result of repeated frustrated attempts on, the part of the callus to heal up a wound. If a clean cut remains clean, the cambium and cortical tissues soon form callus over it, and in this callus—regenerative tissue—new wood, &c., soon forms, and if the wound was a small one, no trace is visible after a few years. But the occluding callus is a mass of delicate succulent cells, and offers a dainty morsel to certain insects—e.g. Aphides—and may be easily penetrated by certain Fungi such as Peziza, Nectria; and when thus attacked, the repeated conflicts between the cambium and callus, on the one hand, trying to heal over the wound, and the insect or Fungus, on the other, destroying the new tissues as they are formed, results in irregular growths; the still uninjured cambium area goes on thickening the branch, the dead parts, of course, remain unthickened, and the portion in which the Fungus is at work may for the time being grow more rapidly. Such cankers often commence in mere insect punctures, frosted buds, cracks in the cortex, &c., into which a germinating spore sends its hypha. The seriousness of the damage done is illustrated by the ravages of the larch disease, apple canker, &c. 5. Exudations and Rotting.—The outward symptoms of many diseases consist in excessive discharges of moisture, often accompanied by bursting of over-turgid cells, and eventually by putrefactive changes. Conditions of hyper-turgescence are common in herbaceous plants in wet seasons, or when overcrowded and in situations too moist for them. This unhealthy state is frequently combined with etiolation: what is termed rankness is a particular case, and if the factors concerned are removed by drainage, weeding out, free transpiration, &c., no permanent harm may result. With seedlings and tender plants, however, matters are frequently complicated by the onslaughts of Fungi—e.g. Pythium, Peronospore, Completoria, Volutelta, Botrytis, &c. That such over-turgescence should lead to the bursting of fleshy fruits, such as gooseberries, tomatoes and grapes, is not surprising, nor can we wonder that fermentation and mould Fungi rapidly spread in such fruits; and the same is true for bulbs and herbaceous organs generally. The rotting of rhizomes, roots, &c., also comes into this category; but while it is extremely difficult in given cases to explain the course of events in detail, certain Fungi and bacteria have been so definitely associated with these roots—e.g. beet-rot, turnip disease, wet-rot of potatoes—that we have to consider each case separately. It is, of course, impossible to do this here, but I will briefly discuss one or two groups of cases. Honey-dew.—The sticky condition of leaves of trees—e.g. lime—in hot weather is owing to exudations of sugar. In many cases the punctures of Aphides and Coccideae are shown to be responsible for such exudations, and at least one instance is known where a Fungus—Claviceps--causes it. But it also appears that honey-dew may be excreted by ordinary processes of over-turgescence pressing the liquid through water-pores, as in the tropical Caesalpinia, Calliandra, &c. That these exudations on leaves should afterwards serve as pabulum for Fungi—e.g. Fumago, Antennaria —is not surprising, and the leaves of limes are often black with them. Flux.—A common event in the exudation of turbid, frothing liquids from wounds in the bark of trees, and the odours of putrefaction and even alcoholic fermentation in these are sufficiently explained by the coexistence of albuminous and saccharine matters with fungi, yeasts and bacteria in such fluxes. It is clear that in these cases the obvious symptom—the flux—is not the primary one. Some wound in the succulent tissues has become infected by the organisms referred to, and their continued action prevents healing. At certain seasons the wound " bleeds," and the organisms—some of which, by the bye, are remarkable and interesting forms—multiply -in the nutritious sap and ferment it. The phenomenon is, in fact, very like that of the fermentation of palm wine and pulque, where the juices are obtained from artificial cuts. Comparable with these cases is that of Cuckoo-spit, due to the juices sucked out by Aphrophthora on. herbaceous plants of all kinds. Outflows of resin—Resinosis—also come under this general heading; but although some resin-fluxes are traced. to the destructive action of Agaricus melleus in Conifers, others, as well as certain forms of Gummosis, are still in need of explanation. Bacteriosis.—Many of the plant diseases involving rot have been ascribed to the action of bacteria, and in some cases—e.g. cabbage-rot, bulb-rot of hyacinths, &c., carnation disease—there is evidence that bacteria are causally connected with the disease. It is not sufficient to find bacteria in the rotting tissues, however, nor even to be successful in infecting the plant through an artificial wound, unless very special and critical precautions are taken, and in many of the alleged cases of bacteriosis the saprophytic bacteria in the tissues are to be regarded as merely secondary agents. 6. Necrosis.—A number of diseases the obvious symptoms of which are the local drying up and death of tissues, in many cases with secondary results on organs or parts of organs, may be brought together under this heading. No sharp line can be drawn between these diseases and some of the preceding, inasmuch as it often depends on the external conditions whether necrosis is a dry-rot, in the sense I employ the term here, or a wet-rot, when it would come under the preceding category. The " dying back " of the twigs of trees and shrubs is a frequent case. The cortical tissues gradually shrink and dry up, turning brown and black in patches or all over, and when at length the cambium and medullary ray tissues dry up the whole twig dies off. This may be due to frost, especially in " thin-barked " trees, and often occurs in beeches, pears, &c.; or it may result from bruising by wind, hailstones, gun-shot wounds in coverts, &c., the latter of course very local. It is the common result of fires passing along_too rapidly to burn the trees; and " thin-barked " trees—hornbeam, beech, firs, &c.—may exhibit it as the results of sunburn, especially when exposed to the south-west after the removal of shelter. The effects of frost and of sunburn are frequently quite local. The usual necrosis of the injured cortex occurs—drying up, shrivelling, and consequent stretching and cracking of the dead cortex on the wood beneath. Such frost-cracks, sun-cracks, &c., may then be slowly healed over by callus, but if the conditions for necrosis recur the crack may be again opened, or if Fungi, &c., interfere with occlusion, the healing is prevented; in such cases the local necrosis may give rise to cankers. The dying back of twigs may be brought about by many causes. General attacks of leaf-diseases invariably lead to starvation and necrosis of twigs, and similarly with the ravages of caterpilla's and other insects. Drought and consequent defoliation result in the same, and these considerations help us to understand how old-established trees in parks, &c., apparently in good general health, become " stag-headed " by the necrosis of their upper twigs and smaller branches: the roots have here penetrated into subsoil or other unsuitable medium, or some drainage scheme has deprived them of water, &c., and a dry summer just turns the scale. Such phenomena are not uncommon in towns, where trees with their roots under pavement or other impervious covering do well for a time, but suddenly fail to supply the crown sufficiently with water during some hot summer. 7. Monstrosities.—A large class of cases of departure from the normal form, depending on different and often obscure causes, may be grouped together under this heading; most of them arc of the kind termed Teratological, and it is difficult to decide how far they should be regarded as pathological if we insist that a disease threatens the existence of the plant, since many of these malformations—e.g. double flowers, phyllody of floral parts, contortions and fascinations, dwarfing, malformed leaves, &c.—can not only be transmitted in cultivation, but occur in nature without evident injury to the variety. In many cases, however, monstrosities of flowers have been shown to be due to the irritating action of minute insects or Fungi, and others are known which, although induced by causes unknown to us, and regarded as internal, would not be likely to survive in the wild condition. This subject brings the domain of pathology, however, into touch with that of variation, and we are profoundly ignorant as to the complex of external conditions which would decide in any given case how far a variation in form would be prejudicial or otherwise to the continued existence of a species. Under the head of malformations we place cases of atrophy of parts or general dwarfing, due to starvation, the attacks of Fungi or minute insects, the presence of unsuitable food-materials and so on, as well as cases of transformation of stamens into petals, carpels into leaves, and so forth. Roots are often flattened, twisted and otherwise distorted by mechanical obstacles; stems by excess of food in rich soils, the attacks of minute parasites, overgrowth by climbing plants, &c. Leaves are especially apt to vary, and although the formation of crests, pitchers, puckers, &c., must be put down to the results of abnormal development, it is often difficult to draw the line between teratological and merely' varietal phenomena. For instance, the difference between the long-stalked and finely-cut leaves of Anemone attacked with rust and the normal leaves with broad segments, or between the urceolate leaves occasionally found on cabbages and the ordinary form—in these cases undoubtedly pathological and teratological respectively—is nothing like so great as between the upper and lower normal-leaves of many Umbelliferae or the submerged and floating leaves of an aquatic Ranunculus or Cabomba. When we come to phenomena such as proliferations, vivipary, the development of " Lammas shoots," adventitious buds, epicormic branches, and to those malformations of flowers known as peloria, phyllody, virescence, &c. while assured that definite, and in many cases recognizable, physiological disturbances are. at work, we find ourselves on the borderland between pathological and physiological variation, where each case must be examined with due regard to all the circumstances, and no generalization seems possible beyond what has been sketched. This is equally true of the phenomena of apogamy and apospory in the light of recent researches into the effects of external conditions on reproduction. This sketch of an enormous subject shows us that the pathology of plants is a special department of the study of variations which threaten injury to the plant, and passes imperceptibly into thestudy of variations in general. Moreover, we have good reasons for inferring that different constellations of external causes may determine whether the internal physiological disturbances induced by a given agent shall lead to pathological and dangerous variations, or to changes which may be harmless or even advantageous to the plant concerned.
End of Article: PATHOLOGY OF
PATHOLOGY (from Gr. raBos, suffering)

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