Harmful parasitic fungi

Parasite fungi receive the necessary nutrients from the living organisms on which they inhabit. They parasitize not only in forests and gardens, but also in the fields, affecting crops. And some varieties pose a risk to human health.

Harmful parasite fungi

Parasites in the fields

On crops parasitize:

  • smut;
  • ergot;
  • rust mushroom.

Smut mushrooms

This group of parasitic fungi prefers cereals. Most often they settle on barley, wheat or oats. Sometimes found in corn fields and millet. There are a large number of varieties of smut fungi, each of them affects a certain culture. About 20 species are common in Russia. The ability to adapt to any climatic conditions greatly complicates the fight against smut. On the affected plants (fruits, seeds), a plaque similar to soot appears. Disputes spread quickly. Smut can destroy the entire crop.

The fight against the parasite is not limited to the destruction of the affected ears. Spores remain in the ground and form mycelium in new shoots. The fight against smut includes disinfection of the earth, which is expressed in the fact that for several years it is better to plant plants on the site that are not affected by the parasitic fungus of this variety. Hybrid cereal varieties that are resistant to smut can be planted.


Ergot is a parasite mushroom that prefers wheat. Sometimes it affects other cereals. Ergot can harm the human body. It causes eating disorders and poisoning. After the wheat began to spike, the first signs of damage appear. On the spikelets there are sweet secretions with a specific smell, attracting various insects (flies, midges, etc.). These insects carry spores. After sweet discharge, sclerotia appears. In shape they resemble horns, painted in dark purple, sometimes there is a purple hue. Their length varies from 3 to 5 cm. Healthy wheat grains do not exceed 1.5-2 cm in length. Fallen horns that overwintered in the soil are a source of disease.

Irina Selyutina (Biologist):

Ergot is one of the most famous poisonous (toxic) fungi. Ergot alkaloid toxicity was previously widespread in Europe, and the number of victims was close to the death toll from the plague and cholera. Clavicepsotoxicosis, or ergotism, is due to the ability of ergot toxins to cause smooth muscle and vascular contraction, as well as effects on the nervous system. It is known in two forms:

  • gangrenous ("Anton fire");
  • convulsive ("evil cramps").

It is difficult to destroy the harmful microorganism that has appeared on the site. To minimize the likelihood of infection on grain fields, you need to use high-quality planting material and destroy weeds in a timely manner. It is advisable to disinfect the seeds, and treat the fields with fungicides. Most often, ergot appears on neglected land plots.

Rust mushroom

This parasite was named due to its appearance. He prefers cereals, but sometimes appears on ferns and flower crops. Brown or red-brown lesions appear on plants. Depending on the type of rust fungus, and there are a huge number of them, this formation takes the form of a bowl, glass or cylinder. Sometimes it is scattered by almost all of the leaves and stems of plants, and sometimes not. Leaves in diseased plants change shape and turn yellow.

Rust mushrooms are obligate parasites. This means that their life cycle and the life cycle of the host are consistent with each other and the parasite is not able to survive without its owner. Often, for their development, 2 different owners are needed. In the case of crops, the second owner is barberry. To avoid contamination of the fields, these crops are not planted nearby. It is also better to use parasite-resistant hybrid varieties, timely harvest and feed. Affected crops are treated with fungicides.

Parasites in the woods

Pipers hit tree bark and wood

damage to forestry is caused by:

  • trousers;
  • autumn honey agaric;
  • winter honeycomb;
  • griffins are curly.

Tinder fungus

Settlepants in the trees. They prefer deciduous forests, but sometimes settle on garden crops (apple trees, pears). These parasitic fungi externally infect the bark of a tree. Over time, the mycelium penetrates the tissues, affecting the trunk. The tree becomes rotten, hollows appear. As a result of this symbiosis, the tree ceases to bear fruit and dies. Most often, parasite fungi appear on affected or weak trees.

Control measures include a thorough cleaning of the affected area of ​​the trunk and its disinfection. If a branch is affected, it is better to cut and burn it. Preventive measures include regular maintenance of horticultural and forest crops. If burns or hollows appear on the tree, they are cleaned, covered with a solution of clay with water and covered with a bandage. Sites of cuts must be treated with garden var. Also, parasitic insects that damage tree bark should not be allowed to appear.

There are many varieties of edible polypore.

Autumn honey agaric

Autumn honey agaric, or real, is often a dangerous parasite that causes white rot of wood. It affects about 200 species of higher plants. Its mycelium is represented by rhizomorphs - dark brown, almost black cords that penetrate the bark of the tree and affect the cambial layer located between the bark and the wood.

Irina Selyutina (Biologist):

Cambium is an educational tissue, due to cell division and differentiation of which the formation of bast cells (secondary cortex) takes place in the outer side, and in the direction of the center - wood cells. As a rule, wood cells are formed significantly more than bast cells, approximately in the ratio of 5-10: 1. The rhythmic growth of the stem in thickness occurs due to the seasonal activity of cambium cells.

The tree resists the developing fungus, secreting protective substances. However, mushroom mushroom also in turn releases toxins that poison the tree. A young tree dies 1-3 years after infection, an old tree in 10 years.

Winter mushroom

An edible winter mushroom, or a winter mushroom, or velvet-legged flammulin, in addition to living on various felled trunks, settles on living trees, leading to their death. Its name is “winter mushroom”, the mushroom received because of the ability to bear fruit all year round, especially in southern countries. In addition to winter fruiting, this species of honey agarics can restore cells destroyed in severe frosts as soon as the temperature becomes slightly above zero.

Griffola curly

This parasite fungus prefers deciduous forests, is edible. It is widely distributed throughout the country. The damage caused by curly griffin negatively affects the life expectancy of the tree, which is reduced to 10-15 years. But this mushroom also has beneficial properties. With its help treat diseases such as tuberculosis and vitamin deficiency, it stabilizes the level of cholesterol in the blood. The benefits of grifola are also invaluable for losing weight. This species is included in the Red Book of Russia.

By the way. Very often, a ram mushroom, or kinky griffin, is called an umbrella griffol and curly sparassis.

Parasites on shrubs and vegetables

Phytophthora causes fungal spores

Vegetables and shrubs are affected by late blight, scab, rot. All of these diseases cause spores of fungi.

  • Late blight : late blight infects potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, i.e. representatives of the nightshade family. First, foliage withers. Then dark brown spots appear on the leaves and fruits.
  • Powdery mildew: the disease is caused by several types of fungi (sferotek, ouznula) most often affects gooseberries. White plaque appears on the fruit. Plants can be damaged in spring and autumn.
  • Fruit tree scab: venturia forms velvety spots of olive color and small diameter on leaves and fruits.
  • Gray rot: caused by a fungus called botritis. The fruits of the affected plant are covered first with white, and then with a black-brown coating. Under plaque, rot forms.

Any fungal disease develops rapidly, which is why treatment is started after the first signs of the disease appear. All parts of the plant affected by the fungus are destroyed. Then the plants are treated with special preparations in strict accordance with the instructions attached to them. After harvesting, the ground is disinfected. A preventive measure is the observance of crop rotation. It is convenient to monitor crop rotation according to a table, the rows of which are the name of the crop grown, and the columns are the years. Crop rotation (multi-field) can be 3, 4, 5-field, etc.

It cannot be said that any of the listed parasites is more or less dangerous. Any of them have to be fought, because ultimately they lead to the death of the host organism.

Parasites in the human body

Mushroom spores settle not only on trees, shrubs and cereals. Examples are known when they parasitize on the body of animals and humans. So, cordyceps, belonging to the class of higher fungi, affects the body of caterpillars. It develops inside the insect larva, sucking out nutrients from it. This leads to the death of the owner, and Cordyceps itself for some time grows through the body of the caterpillar. As a result of this type of symbiosis, the caterpillar turns into a mummy. But the harmful parasite is widely used in folk medicine.

There are parasitic microorganisms in humans. They come from the external environment and disrupt the digestive tract, which is why it is important to monitor nutrition and do not eat foods that have not undergone heat treatment. As for fruits, they should be washed thoroughly.

Some mushrooms in a person live imperceptibly, while others manifest themselves immediately after appearing in the body. They settle most often on the mucous membranes. As for the symptoms, the parasitic microorganism causes diseases that are associated with peeling of the skin. A striking example is psoriasis, which is practically untreatable. Lower fungi include mold, which provokes serious diseases associated with the respiratory system. There are parasitic microorganisms not only in humans, but also in animals. It’s difficult to get rid of them.

Helps to destroy parasitic organisms that cause allergies and eating disorders, propolis tincture, onions and garlic. Specialty antifungal drugs are sold in pharmacies. They contain active ingredients that destroy fungal spores.


The harm caused by parasitic fungi, which can be both optional and obligate, should not be underestimated. The affected fruit crop begins to bear fruit poorly. The same goes for crops. Fungal diseases spread quickly and are difficult to treat. For a complete cure, a comprehensive treatment is necessary.


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