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The initial contact between infective propagules of a parasite and a potential host plant is called inoculation. Pathogens use a variety of stimuli to identify a suitable entry point. Several fungi use topographical cues on the plant surface to guide them towards a likely stomatal site. Once the hypha reaches a stoma, volatile compounds escaping from the pore appear to provide a signal for the formation of a specialised penetration structure, the appressorium. Sugars, amino acids and minerals secreted by plants at the leaf surface can non-specifically trigger spore germination or provide nutrition for the pathogen. Some pathogenic spores will not germinate in the absence of these substances.


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