ContributionReported further evidence of microbial nature of disease in plants.
NotesIn 1877 (q.v.) he had described the agents of blight in fruit trees as parasitic fungi, but he now called them bacteria (then considered to be fungi in the broad sense). He stated his conviction that they are causative of fire blight in pears, but acknowledged his lack of proof. Burrill noted that bacterial causation was "abundantly proved" in animals, and that the germ theory was "rapidly gaining support and credence." In contrast, bacterial causation of plant disease was, he said, an "entirely new" idea. See 1885. Lechevalier and Solotorovsky (page 166 of the 1974 Dover edition) make the point that Burrill was the first to indicate clearly that bacteria can cause disease in plants, and that specific bacteria cause specific diseases, but he did not culture the organisms in vitro. They argue that T. J. Burrill was to phytopathology what Davaine was to animal pathology; and that the role of E. F. Smith was comparable to that of Koch.
Pathogen ClassBacteria

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