Co-operation botanists plant pathologists

Stephan Helfer S.Helfer at RBGE.ORG.UK
Wed Nov 1 11:23:16 CST 1995

Dear Taxacomers
For the past few years I have been working on the taxonomy and
floristics of rust fungi (and some powdery mildews). During this work
it has struck me how little co-operation there is between higher
plant collectors and plant pathologists (NB it's ok here at E because people know that I'm after the
diseased plants).
Most botanists collect the cleanest specimens they can find, and some
pathologists only collect infected parts of host plants, making it near
impossible for the botanists to identify them to any detail.
Both sides are thereby loosing out: the botanist, as many biotrophic
parasites are very host specific, and the presence of e.g. a rust can help
with the identification / taxonomy of a plant; and the pathologist
plainly because valuable information can not be provided.

I therefore propose that specimen collectors of both disciplines keep
in mind the interests and needs of the other discipline.They can thereby
help themselves and each other as well as the community as a whole.

Please keep sending (interesting) rusted specimens to me (or other keen
urediniologists), I won't promise instant diagnosis, but will do my
best at finding out where the rusts belong.

Yours sincerely

Dr Stephan Helfer, SSO
Mycologist / Plant Pathologist

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Inverleith Row, EDINBURGH EH3 5LR,
Scotland UK

email s.helfer at
phone: +44 (0)131 552 7171 ext 280
    or +44 (0)131 459 0446-280 (direct digital VoiceMail line)
fax:   +44 (0)131 552 0382

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