The spores of Phytophthora: weapons of the plant destroyer

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2005 Jan;3(1):47-58. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1064.


Members of the genus Phytophthora are among the most serious threats to agriculture and food production, causing devastating diseases in hundreds of plant hosts. These fungus-like eukaryotes, which are taxonomically classified as oomycetes, generate asexual and sexual spores with characteristics that greatly contribute to their pathogenic success. The spores include survival and dispersal structures, and potent infectious propagules capable of actively locating hosts. Genetic tools and genomic resources developed over the past decade are now allowing detailed analysis of these important stages in the Phytophthora life cycle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Genes / physiology
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Phytophthora / genetics
  • Phytophthora / pathogenicity
  • Phytophthora / physiology*
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Reproduction, Asexual / genetics
  • Spores / genetics
  • Spores / physiology*
  • Virulence