Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/17/2012
Publication Date: 2/6/2013
Citation: Harris-Shultz, K.R. 2013. Control of crop diseases, third edition. Crop Science. 53:732-733.
Interpretive Summary: not required
Technical Abstract: The authors in the Control of Crop Diseases cover a wide range of topics from crop diseases and their diagnosis and eradication to a primer on fungicides and legislation. This wide range of topics, all critical to the topic of crop diseases, thus appeals to a wide audience from molecular biologists, plant pathologists to plant breeders and would be a beneficial text to graduate students of plant biology. The authors start the book with the major crop diseases in the United Kingdom (UK). Although it is likely that many readers may not be located in the UK, the discussion of diseases that affect cereals, oil seed crops, potatoes, sugar beets, legumes, apples, pears, and greenhouse grown crops will be applicable an many of these crops are grown outside of the UK. The authors discuss the diagnosis of diseases in crops by visual symptoms (of which there are 24 color photographs placed in the fungicide chapter showing the effects of diseases on the various plant species), by inducing sporulation or other laboratory techniques, and by the use of ELISA and DNA-based techniques for pathogen identification. The discussion of real-time PCR needs some revision as mention that real-time PCR is started from a RNA template that is reverse transcribed is lacking and there is some confusion about the use of Taqman probes. The strongest part of the book is the discussion of fungicides, of which, the information is extensive. The use of fungicides is ever-increasing and is essential for many crop species. There are protectant fungicides, which do not usually enter the plant and are subject to weathering, and curative and systemic fungicides that enter plant tissues. The authors explain each class of fungicides and the mechanism of their function. Futhermore the formulation and application of fungicides is discussed. It is noted that resistance to systemic fungicides, that act at specific biochemical sites after uptake, is common. The authors mention in the book that vegetatively propagated crops are prone to attack by viral diseases. Elimination of viruses from vegetatively propagated crops can be achieved by meristem tip culture accompanied by heat treatment. This concept is rarely thought about in many vegetatively propagated plants breeding programs, such as turfgrass, where many cultivars have been vegetatively propagated since the 1950s and have likely acquired a viral load. Thus, because the book covers a myriad of topics there is information to be gleaned from every reader