Invasive endophytes

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about how non-axenically-cultured plants are commonly imported/exported, and how this means their endophytes inevitably get imported/exported too. And also how asymptomatic commensal or mutualist endophytes in one species can be pathogenic in another. And also also how lots of nonnative endophytes that are asymptomatic in every single one of their hosts may nevertheless be subtly altering the ecosystem in who knows what ways. And also also also how global biosecurity is very poor, because of the vast number of angiosperm, cryptogam, and fungal weeds I see in nursery flowerpots for sale (not to mention the jillions of mites and springtails).

And perhaps most importantly of all, how almost no one is publishing very much on this issue simply because many endophytes suffer a lot from Uncharismatic Microflora bias.

Is there even any reasonably possible way to import/export non-axenic plants outside their native ranges without risking the unleashment of some invasive fungus that no one will pay attention to (because it doesn’t damage crops and its harmful impact in alien ecosystems is non-obvious)?

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While it certainly wouldn’t hurt to be more careful (ex. ship plants with washed, bare roots rather than in a pot of soil), I think as long as we are moving plants (and animals) around the planet, there will be no way to totally avoid introducing foreign microbes (or near-microbes) to new environments. Even if we stopped allowing non-native plants and animals to be imported, humans cross the globe in airplanes in less than 24 hours, and nobody is checking your shoes to see what you’ve tracked along with you. I think as long as humans are moving around, we’ll be moving around other organisms with us.

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I did figure the whole passenger plane thing was a lost cause too, but do there exist methods to curb the spread of microfungi with relatively ineffective dispersal adaptions?

Besides, of course, basic sanitation protocols of the aforementioned sort and absurdly expensive ones like tissue culture.

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