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Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2020-07-15 15:49 UTC (austein.mcloughlin@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2020-07-15 15:49 UTC (austein.mcloughlin@cbd.int)

Organism information
Scientific name
Phytophthora infestans
Taxonomic Classification
SpeciesPhytophthora infestans
Common name(s)
Phytophthora blight
Additional Classification
Type of organism
  • Water mould
Characteristics related to biosafety
Centre(s) of origin
Toluca Valley, Mexico
Habitat range
Cool nights, warm days, and extended wet conditions favour the development of severe epidemics. Sporulation can occur between 3-26°C, but optimally between 18-22°C. At temperatures between 21-26°C, sporangia form germ tubes for direct infection and at temperatures below 18° C, sporangia produce zoospores, which can each initiate an infection. Condensation also promotes the production of  sporangia.
Geographical distribution
Worldwide - associated with the dispersal of potato seed tubers.
Known pathogenicity and/or allergenicity
Phytophthora infestans has been observed infecting roughly 90 plant species . However, the pathogen is most associated with potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) and tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum).

The infection cycle begins with the development of asexual spore producing structures (sporangia) on the aerial parts of the plant or from oospores, which release zoospores (wind and rain dispersal) or germinate directly to initiate infection. Zoospores discard their flagella and synthesize a cell wall to form a cyst, which germinate within hours and enter into the host via openings such as stomata or form an appressorium-like germ tube to penetrate into the host. After penetration, a primary infection vesicle is formed and it is from which hyphae will emerge to colonize the plant host. The hyphae grow intercellularly, producing haustoria, which project into host cells, initiate an interaction between the pathogen and the host cell membrane and allow the pathogen to siphon nutrients from the host cells. As the infection spreads, P. infestans will produce sporophores, which will lead to the production of further sporangia and cause lethal lesions to be formed on the plant.

If two different mating types come into contact, sexual reproduction can occur and leads to the formation of thick-walled structures called oospores, which allow for survival and dispersal of the pathogen. In the absence of oospores, P. infestans can survive between crops as mycelium in infected tomato fruit or potato tubers.

Records referencing this document (1)
1record(s) found
Gene and DNA Sequence1 record