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Phytophtora reproduction.png
Water mould - Phytophthora forms: A: Sporangia. B: Zoospore. C: Chlamydospore. D: Oospore
Scientific classification
(unranked): SAR
Phylum: Heterokontophyta
Class: Oomycota
Order: Peronosporales
Family: Pythiaceae
J. Schröt., 1893
Type genus
Pringsh., 1858

Pythiaceae is a family of water moulds. The family includes plant pathogenic fungus-like organisms in the genus Phytophthora; as well as serious plant and animal pathogens in the genus Pythium. The family was circumscribed by German mycologist Joseph Schröter in 1893.



The sporangia may germinate via a germ tube or by release of motile zoospores, depending on the species and the environmental conditions.

Economic importance[edit]

Some Pythium species cause "damping-off" diseases in young plants (seedlings).


  • C.J. Alexopolous, Charles W. Mims, M. Blackwell et al., Introductory Mycology, 4th ed. (John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken NJ, 2004) ISBN 0-471-52229-5