Differentiation of Phytophthora infestans sporangia from other airborne biological particles by flow cytometry

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2002 Jan;68(1):37-45. doi: 10.1128/aem.68.1.37-45.2002.


The ability of two different flow cytometers, the Microcyte (Optoflow) and the PAS-III (Partec), to differentiate sporangia of the late-blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans from other potential airborne particles was compared. With the PAS-III, light scatter and intrinsic fluorescence parameters could be used to differentiate sporangia from conidia of Alternaria or Botrytis spp., rust urediniospores, and pollen of grasses and plantain. Differentiation between P. infestans sporangia and powdery mildew conidia was not possible by these two methods but, when combined with analytical rules evolved by genetic programming methods, could be achieved after staining with the fluorescent brightener Calcofluor white M2R. The potential application of these techniques to the prediction of late-blight epiphytotics in the field is discussed.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Microbiology*
  • Benzenesulfonates / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry / instrumentation*
  • Flow Cytometry / methods*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism
  • Light
  • Particle Size
  • Phytophthora / classification*
  • Phytophthora / physiology*
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Pollen
  • Scattering, Radiation
  • Solanum tuberosum / microbiology
  • Spores, Fungal


  • Benzenesulfonates
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • C.I. Fluorescent Brightening Agent 28