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Botrytis cinerea on a tomato plant

Botrytis cinerea on a tomato plant

Department : Ascomycota mushrooms
Subdivision : Real ascent mushrooms (Pezizomycotina)
Class : Leotiomycetes
Order : Helotials
Family : Sclerotia cup relatives (Sclerotiniaceae)
Genre : Botrytis
Scientific name
Pers. ex Fr.
Snowdrop gray mold ( Botrytis galanthina ) on Elwes snowdrop , colored

Botrytis ( Syn. : Botryotinia ) is a cosmopolitan species of Ascomycetes (Ascomycota). It belongs to the form class of the Fungi imperfecti , which means that no phase of sexual fertilization has yet been discovered. All species are important pests of plants, a particularly well-known representative is gray mold rot ( Botrytis cinerea ) with a very large number of host plants.


The mycelium is grayish or brownish. The carriers of the conidia are septate and more or less branched. The spores sit on the ends of the branches.

Some species form black sclerotia in or on parts of the plant, white on the inside , from which a stalked, calyx, cup or bowl-shaped fruiting body called apothecium arises. This is where the ascospores are formed.


All Botrytis species live as parasites , thereby inducing apoptosis of the infected cells in the infected tissue of the infected plants. This leads to the progressive disintegration of the tissue (rot).

Some species can reproduce sexually; other species have lost this ability. The conidia are spread by the wind. The fungi overwinter as mycelium in the soil within the rotting plant, or in the case of species with generative reproduction as sclerotia.

Botrytis and Man

Fungi of the genus Botrytis are important phytopathogens that cause severe damage to many important agricultural products. They are often fought chemically, for example with pyrimethanil , fludioxonil , cyprodinil or fenhexamid .


Under certain circumstances, depending on the time of grape ripening and weather conditions, gray mold rot ( B. cinerea ) can significantly increase the quality of wine, which is why it is also called noble rot . If the infestation occurs before the grapevine ripens, the harvest spoils and one speaks of raw rot .


The genus Botrytis belongs to the family of sclerotia cup relatives (Sclerotiniaceae), closely related genera are Sclerotinia and the fruit cups ( Monilinia ). To date, the genus includes 22 species and one natural hybrid . The teleomorphic species with sexual reproduction are sometimes also separated into their own genus Botryotinia Whetzel. The name botrytis , which originally only applied to the anamorphic species, has meanwhile largely established itself for both forms.


  • Werner Rothmaler: Excursion flora for Germany . Volume 1: Lower Plants, 3rd edition. Fischer, Jena 1994. ISBN 3-334-60827-1
  • Martijn Staats, Peter van Baarlen, Jan AL van Kan: Molecular Phylogeny of the Plant Pathogenic Genus Botrytis and the Evolution of Host Specificity. In: Molecular Biology and Evolution. 22, No. 2, 2005, pp. 333-346. doi: 10.1093 / molbev / msi020

Web links

Commons : Botrytis  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Botrytis  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations