|Iceberg lettuce infected with Bremia lactucae|
Regel, Bot. Ztg.: 666 (1843)
Botrytis gangliformis Berk. [as 'ganglioniformis'], (1846)
Bremia lactucae is a plant pathogen. This microorganism causes a disease of lettuce (Lactuca sativa) denominated as downy mildew. Some other strains can be found on 36 genera of Asteraceae including Senecio and Sonchus. Experiments using sporangia from hosts do not infect lettuce and it is concluded that the fungus exists as a quantity of host-specific strains (formae speciales). Wild species, such as Lactuca serriola, or varieties of Lactuca can hold strains that infect lettuce, but these pathogens are not sufficiently common to seriously infect the plant.
The damage to caused by Bremia to lettuce may not in itself be serious, but infected plants are susceptible to secondary infection by the more severe mould, Botrytis cinerea. The plant can suffer systemic infections. Metalaxyl is effective against this microorganism.
- Coarse intercellular mycelium.
- Haustoria are sac-shaped, many times they are present in each host cell.
- Sporangiophores emerge singly or in small groups through the stomata and branch dichotomously.
- Tip of each branch expands to form a cup-shaped disc bearing short cylindrical sterigmata at the margin and occasionally in the centre, and from these the hyaline sporangia arise.
- Germination of the sporangia is usually by means of a germ tube which forms an appressorium to penetrate epidermal cells or it enters through a stoma.
- Zoospore formation has been reported but not confirmed.
- Sexual reproduction is usually heterothallic, but homothallic strains also exist.
- Oospores are formed in leaf tissue and remain viable for 12 months.
- Introduction to fungi. Webster. 3rd edition (2007). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521014830
- Crute, I. R. (1984). The integrated use of genetic and chemical methods for the control of lettuce downy mildew (Bremia lactucae). Crop Protection,3, 223-242.
- Crute, I. R. & Dixon, G. R. (1981). Downy mildew diseases caused by the genus Bremia. In The Downy Mildews, ed. D. M. Spencer. London: Academic Press, pp. 421-460.
- Michelmore, R. W. & Ingram, D. S. (1980). Heterothallism in Bremia lactucae. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 75, 47-56.
- Morgan, W. M. (1983). Viability of Bremia lactucae oospores and stimulation of their germination by lettuce seedlings. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 80, 403-408.
- Bremia lactucae at Index Fungorum
- USDA ARS Fungal Database
- "Friday Fellow: Downy Mildew" at Earthling Nature.
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