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All about oomycetes - fine reading

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The Small Things Considered blog has just started a three-part series on oomycetes, also known as water molds.

The first piece (published today) describes oomycete biology, the other two will focus on a particular oomycete: the late potato blight pathogen.

Here's a clip:

"As you know, the potato blight caused widespread famine in potato-dependent, mid-19th century Ireland. You may also be aware of a current malady, sudden oak death, that affects large numbers of trees in the Pacific coastal states of the USA. And if you are involved in agriculture in any way, you have likely heard of the downy mildews of lettuce, onions, spinach, strawberries, and other crops. Likewise, those concerned with aquaculture are alert to a variety of "fungal" diseases, including one called saprolegniasis that causes about a 10% mortality in pond-grown salmon.

What do these diseases have in common? They are all caused by oomycetes, a large group of organisms that resemble fungi morphologically but are distant from them phylogenetically. "

Click "source" to read more.
 
 

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