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Chapter Five
Hungry Planet: Stories of Plant Diseases

Questions for Discussion


1.  How are bacteria and fungi similar and different in their abilities to cause plant diseases?

2.  How might global warming change the impact of bacterial diseases of plants?

3.  Fire blight bacteria cause minor diseases on wild, native North American plants. Why is fire blight such a destructive disease in apple and pear orchards and sometimes in landscape plants?

4.  How are diseases caused by fastidious bacteria (such as phytoplasmas, spiroplasmas, and Xylella fastidiosa) different from typical plant diseases caused by bacteria?

5.  Why is the crown gall bacterium called a “natural genetic engineer”? How does this natural process occur?