History of Plant Pathology

History of Plant Pathology

By studying the history of science, we get a better perspective of the subject , we come to know the contributions made in that field, the problems that are encountered and the manner in which they are tackled.

The history of plant pathology is divided into different five eras:

1. Ancient era: Ancient to 5 th Century (476 A.D)
2. Dark era: 5 th to 16 th Century (476 A.D. to 1600)
3. Premodern era: 17 th Century to 1853 (1600 to 1853)
4. Modern era: 1853 to 1906
5. Present era: 1906 onwards

1. Ancient Era: Ancient to 5 th Century (476 A.D)

Diseases in plant have been known since ancient times. Rust, blight, mildews, smuts, were familiar to Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, Chinese and Indians. Plant disease was recorded in Vedas (Rugveda, Athavaeda) as early as 1200 B.C. Symptoms and control of disease have been mentioned in “VRIKSHAYURVED” by Surapal in ancient India. Even mention of plant disease has been made in Budhist literature of 500 B.C.

Theophrastus (300 B.C) a great botanist noted occurrence of crop disease and suggested some remedies to control them. He also wrote about plant disease in this era.

Lord Pliny (100 A.D) He descried plant diseases and suggested some remedies. He believed that disease originates from the plants or from the environment.

2. Dark Era (476 A.D to 1600):

Plant pathology made very little progress during this era some Arabians like Ibnal-awan described symptoms and control measures for some plant disease.

1440: Printing was introduced in Europe and this reflected interest in learning science.

3. Premodern Era 18 th century to 1853 (1600 to 1853)

Robert Hooke 1665:

The father of cell theory. He had developed or invented first compound microscope. He reported that plant tissues are made up minute units called as cells.

Anton Van Leeuwenhoek 1676:

A Dutch worker from Holland. He invented first simple microscope with home ground lenses between two metal plates. He described different types of protozoa and bacteria as “ Little animalcules”. All unicellular microorganisms ( Protozoa , algae, and bacteria) were firstly recorded by him.

P.A Micheli 1729:

An Italian Botanist studied several fungi and described their morphology for first time. He studied that fungi originates from spores. Father of Founder of Mycology.

John Needham 1743:

Reported plant parasitic nematodes in wheat galls.

Carlous Linnaeus 1753:

Established Latin Binomial system of Nomenclature of Plants and animals in his book “Species plantarum”.

Tillet 1755:

Proved that Bunt of wheat is contagious or infectious and can be controlled by seed treatment.

Prevost 1807:

A French Botanist suggested CuSO4 seed treatment for bunt of wheat.

This is known as autogenic or physiologic period, since plant disease were distinctly physiologic with tendency towards the mycology. At the end of the period it was clear that fungi were very closely associated with diseases.

In 1845, late blight of potato was appeared in Ireland, over one million people get died and one and half million get migrated and the history entered the next era.

Modern Era 1853 to 1906:

This known as pathogenic period which was devoted the study of role of fungi causing plant diseases.

Anton de Bary 1853:

He proved that late blight of potato was caused by phytophorn infestans. Founder or father of plant pathology.

T.J. Burril 1873:

American plant pathologist. He proved, Bacterial Nature of Fire Blight of Apple and pear.

Robert Koch 1876:

Bacterial nature of Anthrax disease in animals ( 1881) Gelatin is used as solidifying agent in culture media which is replaced by Agar-Agar. He described the theory called “KOCH’S POSTULATES”.

P.A. Millardet 1882-85:

Use of Bordeaux mixture (CuSO4 + Lime) for control of Downey Mildew of grapes.

 Adolf Mayer 1886:

Described TMV and proved that TMV should be transmitted from diseased plant to healthy plants.

Jenson 1887:

Hot water treatment for loose smut of wheat.

E.F Smith 1890:

Father of phytobacterilogy. He worked on bacterial wilt of cucurbits and crown gall diseases.

Iwanowski 1892:

Demonstrated that Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) can pass through bacteria proof filters and proved filterable nature of viruses.

Cragie 1827:

Showed function of Puccinia in rust fungi.
Biffen 1905:

Pioneers in Genetic of Plant diseases resistance.

4. Present Era 1906 Onwards:

The present or current era commencing from 1906 has since remarkable discoveries.

J.C Luthra 1931:

Solar heat treatment for loose smut of wheat.

W.M. Stanley 1935:

He proved crystalline nature of virus. He got Nobel Prize.

F.C Bowden and Pierie 1936:

Nuckeoprotenous nature of virus.

G.H. Flor 1955:

Gene for gene theory hypothesis.

Doi and Asuyama:

Discovered Mycoplasma like organism (MLO) responsible for yells type of disease.

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