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a genus of sac fungi of the order Helotiales of the group Discomycetes. The fungi pass through sclerotial and ascomycetous stages of development. In the first stage they form dormant structures called sclerotia; in the second stage they form a mycelium or fruiting bodies called apothecia, which are in the shape of a saucer or goblet. Asci and asco-spores develop in the apothecia. Most species reproduce by means of conidia and, depending on their manner of sporebearing, belong to one of two genera of imperfect fungi—Monilia or Botrytis. The most harmful species are S. sclerotiorum (S. libertiana), S. fuckeliana, S. cinerea, and S. frucligena, which damage many cultivated and wild plants, including sunflower, cabbage, carrot, potato, bean, pea, and various fruit trees.