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Water mold.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Protista
Phylum: Heterokontophyta
Class: Oomycetes

The Oomycota are a class in a huge phylum of eukaryotic microorganisms called the Heterokonts. Oomycetes are a distinct phylogenetic lineage of fungus-like microorganisms.

They are not actually fungi, though some have filaments as fungi do. Like fungi, they are saprophytic and pathogenic. also like fungi, oomycetes rarely have septa,[1] and if they do, they are scarce.[2]

They are microscopic organisms that reproduce both sexually and asexually. Oomycetes are some of the most prolific pathogens of plants, causing devastating diseases such as potato blight and sudden oak death.

They are often referred to as water moulds (or moulds), although the water-loving nature which led to that name is not true of most species, which are terrestrial pathogens.

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Septum: a wall which divides one cell from another.
  2. Kortekamp A. (2005). Growth, occurrence and development of septa in Plasmopara viticola and other members of the Peronosporaceae using light- and epifluorescence-microscopy. Mycological research 109 (Pt 5): 640–648. [1]