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Fungicides are chemical compounds used to prevent the spread of fungi or plants in gardens and crops, which can cause serious damage resulting in loss of yield and thus profit. Though oomycetes are not fungi, they use the same mechanisms to infect plants[1] and therefore in phytopathology chemicals used to control oomycetes are also referred to as fungicides. Fungicides are also used to fight fungal infections.

Fungicides can either be contact or systemic. A contact fungicide kills fungi when sprayed on its surface; a systemic fungicide has to be absorbed by the plant.

Fungicide residues have been found on food for human consumption, mostly from post-harvest treatments.[2] Some fungicides are dangerous to human health, such as Vinclozolin, which has now been removed from use.[3]

Like other pesticides, fungicides can induce pesticide resistance. Equivalently, antifungal drugs can induce drug resistance.

See also


  1. Latijnhouwers M, de Wit PJ, Govers F. Oomycetes and fungi: similar weaponry to attack plants. Trends in Microbiology Volume 11 462-469
  2. Pesticide Chemistry and Biosciene edited by G.T Brooks and T.R Roberts. 1999. Published by the Royal Society of Chemistry
  3. Hrelia et al. 1996 - The genetic and non-genetic toxicity of the fungicide Vinclozolin. Mutagenesis Volume 11 445-453


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