Life styles of Colletotrichum species and implications for plant biosecurity.
Colletotrichum is a genus of major plant pathogens causing anthracnose diseases in many plant crops worldwide. The genus comprises a highly diverse group of pathogens that infect a wide range of plant hosts. The life styles of Colletotrichum species can be broadly categorised as necrotrophic, hemibiotrophic, latent or quiescent and endophytic; of which hemibiotrophic is the most common. The differences in life style depend on the Colletotrichum species, the host species, the physiological maturity of the host and environmental conditions. Thus, the genus Colletotrichum provides a unique opportunity for analysing different life style patterns and features underlying a diverse range of plant-pathogen interactions. This review describes the various modes of life styles of Colletotrichum species, the underlying mechanisms of infection and colonisation, and implications the life styles have for plant biosecurity. Knowledge of life styles of Colletotrichum species will enable the development of improved diagnostics and application of integrated disease control methods to mitigate the risk of incursion of exotic Colletotrichum species.