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Trends Ecol Evol. 1991 May;6(5):162-6. doi: 10.1016/0169-5347(91)90058-6.

Parasitic castration of plants by fungi.

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1
Dept of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.

Abstract

If the production of genetically variable offspring is a mechanism of host defense against parasites, then parasites capable of suppressing sexual reproduction in hosts may gain a selective advantage over parasites that do not do so. Recent work has shown that a range of systemic fungi infecting plants sterilize their hosts, effectively preventing coevolutionary responses by host populations to avoid infection, while stimulating clonal spread of the infected plant. Indeed, parasitic castration of plants may represent a widespread fungal adaptation.

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