sooty mold

noun
1.
Plant Pathology. a disease of plants, characterized by a black, sooty growth covering the affected parts, caused by any of several fungi.
2.
any fungus causing this disease, as molds of the genera Capnodium, Phragmocapnias, and Scorias.

Origin:
1900–05

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

sooty mold

plantplant disease characterized by splotchy black stain or coating on leaves, stems, and fruit, composed of dark fungal threads (Capnodium, Fumago, and Scorias species) that grow in flowing sap or on honeydew excreted by aphids and other sucking insects. The condition is unsightly but usually not harmful. Control includes spraying or dusting for sucking insects, washing off sticky coatings of sap or honeydew on plant surfaces, and avoiding the wounding of plants.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The ants cultivate the fungus, turning it into a sooty mold that acts as living
  cement, reinforcing the structure of their traps.
Sooty mold fungi in turn can reduce photosynthesis and plant vigor.
Effect: occasional high populations result in profuse honeydew, sooty mold.
Psyllids leave waxy tubules and honeydew, on which sooty mold can develop,
  damaging the plant.
Image for sooty mold
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