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Cytogenetic analysis of ZZWW triploid silkworm (Bombyx mori)
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On the nature and role of vivotoxins in plant disease
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On the nature and role of vivotoxins in plant disease

On the nature and role of vivotoxins in plant disease

Phytopath 43(5): 229-235

A vivotoxin is defined as a substance produced in the infected host by the pathogen and/or its host, which functions in the production of disease but is not itself the initial inciting agent of disease. Koch's postulates are modified to establish criteria for proving the pathogenicity of vivotoxins. These criteria are (a) reproducible separation from the sick plant, (b) purification, and (c) reproduction of at least a portion of the disease syndrome when the toxin is placed in a healthy plant. Vivotoxity has been established in a few instances which are discussed. The problem of demonstrating vivotoxicity of a toxin is discussed in terms of lycomarasmin. Evidence is presented which indicates that if lycomarasmin is functional, it probably does not play a primary role in the pathology of Fusarium wilt of tomato. Vivotoxins can act by any mechanism by which other poisons affect cells. Toxins can act physically by altering cellular permeability and by occluding the conducting elements of the vascular system. Polysaccharides commonly are a cause of the latter. The modes of chemical action are more varied. Extracellular enzymes are well established as vivotoxins, and it is suggested that the vascular discoloration characteristic of certain wilt diseases results from enzymic attack of vascular tissue. Competitive inhibitors include ethylene, an example of a vivotoxin which the host can produce in response to injury by the pathogen. Competitive inhibition of methionine utilization has been established as a modus operandi for the wildfire vivotoxin. Inhibition by a vivotoxin may depend on a specific affinity for cations or for sulfhydryl groups. Patulin is cited as an example of the latter. Non-competitive inhibition is illustrated by lycomarasmin, which acts as an antimetabolite for the growth factor strepogenin.

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