Phytophthora

Definition - What does Phytophthora mean?

Phytophthora is a genus, or classification name, of a species of plant-damaging water molds. Many different species of plants are vulnerable to Phytophthora, particularly when a plant remains wet for an extended period of time or when it is planted too deeply. Phytophthora is considered to be a particularly damaging disease and can affect many plants in an area.

MaximumYield explains Phytophthora

There are more than 80 species of Phytophthora and the vast majority of them are plant pathogens. They are considered to be some of the most destructive pathogens of agricultural crops and forests. These pathogens favor wet conditions and produce spores that can survive for years in moist soil. Plants growing in clay and compacted soils are exceedingly vulnerable to these types of diseases.

Phytophthora species damage plants by killing a plant’s tissues. Phytophthora will then significantly weaken and eventually kill the plant over a period of time, depending on the plant’s size when it was initially infected. Some species of Phytophthora can cause multiple symptoms on a particular host. Some of the most common symptoms are blight, rotting plant tissue, dieback, and decline. Eventually the infection will lead to the death of the host plant.

There are several different methods to prevent Phytophthora rot. The first and best method is to ensure soil/fields are properly drained. Crop rotation and tilling of soil can be beneficial in preventing an outbreak of Phytophthora rot. Additionally, seeds can be treated with fungicide in order to prevent Phytophthora. Fungicides can also be used in the form of a spray on ornamental plants.

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