Genetic analysis of biosynthetic pathways for fungal secondary metabolites depends on availability of efficient and dependable assays for the end products. Some fungal plant pathogens produce secondary metabolites called host-specific toxins. Until recently, all bioassays for these toxins required use of whole plants or plant parts (Yoder 1981 In: Toxins in Plant Disease, Durbin ed., pp. 45-78). Since host-specific toxins, by definition, affect only plants that are susceptible to the toxin-producing fungus, other plants, animals and microorganisms are not sensitive and therefore cannot be used in bioassays.

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