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Why are Phytophthora and Other Oomycota not True Fungi?

Outlooks on Pest Management 10/2006; 17(5). DOI: 10.1564/17oct08
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence of fossil Peronosporomycetes has been slow to accumulate. In this review various fossils historically assigmed to the Peronosporomycets are dicussed briefly and an explanation is provided as to why the fossil record of this grouop has remained inconsistent. In recent year there has been several new reports of fossil peronosporomycetes based on structurally preserved oogonium-antheridium complexes from Derovonian and Carboniferous rocks that demonstrate the existence of these organisms as fossils and refute the long-standing assumption that they are too delicate to be preserved. Among these are serral tyoes characterized by oogonial surface members of the group. To date at last three groups of fossil vascular plants (i.e. lycophytes, ferns and seed ferns) are known to host peronosporomycetes aas endophytes; however only one form has been identified as a parasite.
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    ABSTRACT: After being accidentally introduced from the USA at the end of the 19th century, downy mildew caused by Plasmopara viticola (Berk. et Curt.) Berlese et De Toni became one of the most damaging diseases affecting Vitis vinifera in Europe. Downy mildew causes both direct and indirect losses and can lead to severe reduction of yield. Our understanding of the life cycle and epidemiology of P. viticola has been recently altered by molecular studies that revealed that the overwintering inoculum (i.e., the oospores) does more than initiate disease, as was previously thought. A mechanistic model was developed for predicting the entire chain of processes leading to primary infections, and this primary infection model was linked to other models of secondary infection cycles. The model for primary infections defines the length of the primary inoculum season and a seasonal oospore dose consisting of several cohorts of oospores that progressively mature. The model was evaluated by means of Bayesian analysis in both Italy and eastern Canada, and showed high sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy both for potted plants and vineyards. Fungicide applications are necessary to control downy mildew because preventive agronomic practices are not very effective, including host resistance. The use of warning systems based on weather-driven models leads to a reduction in the use and cost of chemicals and a reduction in their environmental impact.
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