Parasitic fungi, insects, or other organisms may specialize on particular families of vascular plants. For example, the basidiospore-producing stage of the rust fungus, Gymnosporangium infects only species of Juniperus (Cupressaceae). The alternate hosts (of the aeciospore-producing stage) of this fungus are members of subfamily Maloideae in the Rosaceae (e.g. Amelanchier, Crataegus, etc.). In this way, we may be able to use susceptibility to a particular parasite as a diagnostic character for certain families, subfamilies, or genera.
| What are plant families? | How do we distinguish them? | How and why do we study them? | Selected vascular plant families of Ontario | Reading List | Course outline |
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