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Parasite  [ Biology  - Horticulture ]
Adjective: Parasitic
Derived form: Parasitism, Parasitology

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  An organism  that lives on or in a host organism of a different species  and that gets its food from or at the expense of its host, and which is typically detrimental to the host.  
A parasite is an organism that lives intimately associated in or on the living tissue of a host organism. A parasite obtains nourishment and shelter from the host without benefiting or killing it  usually does not eat a large proportion of its host tissue. A parasite does not help its host in any way.
A complete parasite gets all of its nutrients from the host organism, whilst a semi-parasite gets only some of its food from the host.
The biological interaction between the host and the parasite is called parasitism. Parasitism is almost a form of predation, it is a type of symbiosis, by one definition, although another definition of symbiosis excludes parasitism, since it requires that the host benefit from the interaction as well as the parasite. (Of course animals and plants may be parasitized or parasites too.)

Some parasitic insects are considered beneficial because parasitize pest species.

Among plant parasites: Mealy bug, aphids, nematodes, etc.

See also:  Ectoparasite, Endoparasites, Parasitic plants, Parasitic diseases

Compare with: Saprophyte.





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