A plant canker is a small area of dead tissue, which grows slowly, often over years. Some cankers are of only minor consequence, but others are ultimately lethal and therefore of major economic importance in agriculture and horticulture. Their causes include such a wide range of organisms as fungi, bacteria, mycoplasmas and viruses. The majority of canker-causing organisms are bound to a unique host species or genus, but a few will attack other plants. Weather and animals can spread canker, thereby endangering areas that have only slight amount of canker.