JACK K. CLARK / AGSTOCKUSA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JACK K. CLARK / AGSTOCKUSA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rust fungus. Close-up of the leaves and fruit of a peach tree (Prunus persica) infected with the rust fungus Tranzschelia discolor. Rusts are parasitic fungi that cause some of the most destructive plant diseases. The disease appears as the numerous rusty, orange spots that appear on the leaves, twigs and fruit. The fungus rarely causes the tree to die but it greatly reduces its ability to photosynthesize (produce food from sunlight). This therefore can lead to severely reduced yields. This fungus also infects other stonefruit trees such as the plum tree.
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