Serious damage is done to crops each year by fungal infections of plants such as smuts, rusts, ergots, and mildews. Dutch elm disease, a disease that has seriously depleted the number of elm trees in the United States, is caused by the fungus Ceratostomella ulmi. Such diseases are usually fought with fungicides or by developing resistant plants. See also diseases of plants.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.