Powdery scab

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Powdery scab
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Rhizaria
Phylum: Cercozoa
Class: Phytomyxea
Order: Plasmodiophorales
Family: Plasmodiophoraceae
Genus: Spongospora
Species: S. subterranea
Binomial name
Spongospora subterranea
(Wallr.) Lagerh. 1892

Powdery scab, is a disease of potato tubers. It is caused by the cercozoan Spongospora subterranea f. sp. subterranea and is widespread in potato growing countries. Symptoms of powdery scab include small lesions in the early stages of the disease, progressing to raised pustules containing a powdery mass. Powdery scab has a cosmetic effect on tubers, which can result in rejection of potatoes. The powdery pustules contain resting spores, which release anisokont zoospores which can infect the root hairs of potatoes or tomatoes.

Crop rotation systems can help avoid the problem of powdery scab. Potatoes which have been infected can be peeled to remove the infected skin and the remaining inside of the potato can be cooked and eaten.


Webster, John and Weber, Roland, W.S. Introduction to Fungi 3rd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2007.

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