plant disease (redirected from phytopathology)
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plant disease the disruption of normal growth and metabolism in plants leading to reduced viability and even death. Plant diseases may begin with physical attack of the plant by pests such as insects, slugs, mites, birds and other animals, some of which may be VECTORS of plant PATHOGENS. Often, however, pathogens enter the plant via the wounds caused by animal pests. Other pathogens, such as cereal rusts, are able to penetrate plant tissue on their own, often via leaf stomata. Many plants produce special chemicals called PHYTOALEXINS in response to injury, which have an effective defensive function.