Which is the most important plant-pathogenic oomycete?

Oomycete oospores © Richard Shattock
Oomycete oospores © Richard Shattock

In its latest issue, Molecular Plant Pathology has published a list of the top 10 oomycete pathogens based on scientific and economic importance, as voted for by 62 scientists. This is the latest of the journal’s “Top 10” articles which have previously covered plant pathogenic fungi, bacteria and viruses.

Oomycetes, also known as water molds, are often likened to fungi as they resemble filamentous fungi, and have similar feeding and reproduction methods. However, genetic analysis has shown that the two groups are actually phylogenetically very different and are now classified in separate kingdoms. Below you will find more information about the “Top 10” plant pathogenic oomycetes, with links to further information available on the Plantwise knowledge bank.   Continue reading

Epigenetics – a new dimension to understanding plant disease

Coast live oak showing sudden oak death symptoms (Credit: Joseph O’Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org)

The history of diseases that have affected a plant can determine the ability of its progeny to cope with similar diseases. Studies have revealed that, in many cases, progeny of a plant that was diseased develops tolerance to similar stresses in just a few generations, far too quick to be explained by chance mutations. It is here that scientists believe epigenetic mechanisms play a role. Continue reading