Books  Botany & Plant Science  Plants & Botany: Biology & Ecology 

The Bacterium of Many Colors

By: Robert M Harveson(Author)

288 pages, 290 colour & b/w photos and colour illustrations

American Phytopathological Society

Paperback | Jun 2015 | #223934 | ISBN-13: 9780890544624
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £190.00 $248/€212 approx

About this book

To phrase the timeless words of George Santayana, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

The Bacterium of Many Colors imparts lessons of the past through a fascinating collection of historical stories behind plant pathogen and disease discoveries, as well as the important lessons plant pathologists learned while researching them. This entertaining book was written for a diverse audience that includes historically minded plant pathologists, agricultural and biological science enthusiasts at the high school and college levels, and virtually anyone else interested in plant biology and history.

Early chapters of The Bacterium of Many Colors provide foundational knowledge about the major pathogen groups and how the diseases they cause were discovered and studied. The remaining chapters feature a variety of engaging stories and can be read independently in any order. Many of these chapters address specific diseases and are arranged in three broad parts: consequences of human error; novel control strategies; important findings related to key pathological and scientific concepts. The book's author, veteran plant pathologist and history enthusiast Robert M. Harveson, presents a range of diseases from the more obscure, forgotten, or unfamiliar outbreaks to some of the most infamous plant disease epidemics in history.

This important book should appeal to all plant pathologists, as it includes examples representing the majority of pathogen groups, including fungi, bacteria, viruses, nematodes, phytoplasmas, and prokaryotes. Topical focus and biographical profile sidebars add more 'color' to the stories and help the reader explore subjects in greater depth. They also help provide readers with a greater understanding of and insights into the key topics and the individuals who shaped the plant pathology discipline. Throughout, the book is well illustrated with nearly 300 images.

The Bacterium of Many Colors will stimulate a range of audiences, from advanced high school students interested in biology, to undergrads looking for their specialty area, early career scientists and even veteran plant pathologists. This book will be inspirational to any scientist striving to make scientific breakthroughs today and deliver novel scientific results to the plant pathology community. It will be an excellent textbook for those teaching non-major science courses, as well.


Part I: Introduction
- Plant Diseases and the Major Pathogen Groups
- A Brief History of Plant Nematology
- A Brief History of Mycology
- A Brief History of Phytobacteriology
- A Brief History of Plant Virology

Part II: Unintended Consequences
- The Bacterium of Many Colors
- The Opportunistic Fungus
- The Deadly Debacle from Dixie
- On a Slow Boat from China: Exotic Introductions from the Orient

Part III: Novel Control Measures
- Plant Parasite from the Animal Kingdom
- The Sweet Corn Disease of Long Island
- The New England Yankee Who Saved the South
- Bread or Barberry?
- France’s Problem of the Vine Imported from America

Part IV: New Pathology and Scientific Concepts
- The Birds and the Bees in Mycology: The Complicated Sex Lives of Rust Fungi
- Are All Wheat Viruses Soil Borne?
- Disease Magnets
- The Centennial Rust Disease
- The Charter Member of the Root Pathogen Club
- The Mysterious Lives of Those Elusive Gram-Positive Nebraska Natives
- The Three Amigos: A Virus Complex with 300-Plus Hosts
- The Original Genetic Engineer
- Harnessing Good Microbes for Use Against Bad: Biological Control of Soilborne Pathogens Through Suppressive Soils


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