University of Florida, Department of Plant Pathology, Tropical Research & Education Center, 18905 SW 280th Street, Homestead 33031
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Accepted for publication 14 December 2005.
The world's oldest ecosystems are found in the tropics. They are diverse, highly evolved, but barely understood. This and subsequent papers describe diseases of tropical, perennial plants that are caused by Fusarium spp. Many of these are economically significant, difficult to manage, and of scientific interest. Some represent coevolved patho-systems (e.g., Panama disease, tracheomycosis of coffee, fusariosis of pineapple, and Fusarium wilt of oil palm), whereas others may be new-encounter diseases or are caused by generalist pathogens (cushion gall of cacao). New vector relationships are evident in other pathosystems (e.g., mango malformation), and two or more pathogens have been shown to cause some of the diseases (Panama disease and tracheomycosis of coffee). More work on these pathosystems is warranted as they could reveal much about the evolution of plant pathogens and the important diseases they cause.
© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society