The Main Characteristics of Downy Mildew

During the beginning of the infection bigger, angular, and blocky, yellow areas were seen in the upper surface. As the lesion gets matured, they expand rapidly and becomes brown. In the infected leaves, the under-surface look water soaked. When it observed closely. A purple brown color mold looks apparent. Small football-shaped spores can be seen among the mold with the help of a 10x hand lens. When they get favorable condition prevails, the spread becomes more rapid, which destroys the leaf tissue without affecting the petioles or the stems. In various plants, they grow systematically all over the plants. When they are found abundantly sometimes being confused with grey mold or the powdery mildew. The affected branches and leaves get distorted and die. When the leaf spot diseases, fluffy growth can be seen beneath the leaf.

The management of the disease can take place through various means like chemical, cultural, or organic methods.

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Chemical methods- Various fungicides are used for the downy mildew control maybe not required. Broad-spectrum protectants like chlorothalonil, mancozeb, and copper are used for the protection of downy mildew infection. Systematic fungicides are used for cucurbits in the downy mildew but are suggested after the diagnosis of the disease can be confirmed. The environmental protection agency of the United States has approved, oxathiapiprolin used for downy mildew. But in Canada, the combination of mancozeb and zoxamide was registered for the control of the mildew by the trademark Gavel in 2008.

Cultural Methods- The downy mildew does not overwinter in the midwestern fields, the crop rotations, and the tillage practices never affect the disease development. The pathogen which gets establishes in the late summer. So, planting early-season varieties may lead to the reduction of the already minor threat.

Organic methods- The only way for controlling the downy mildew is by eliminating the moisture and humidity around the plant. Irrigation through drip irrigation and improving the air circulation via selective pruning. In the case of protected cultivation, the humidity can be reduced, and the infection can be avoided.

The downy mildew mostly affects the basil, grapes, cucurbits, hops, soybeans, ornamentals, spinach, and sunflower. In basil downy mildew is caused by the Pernospora belbahrii, which causes huge loss. This was first notices in 2004, in Italy. In grapes, the organism Plasmopara viticola causes the downy mildew. Similarly, in cucurbits, downy mildew occurs as a result of Pseudoperenospora cubensis, it affects the watermelon, pumpkin, gourds, and squash. It is the most important disease in cucurbits. In hops, it happens because of the Pseudoperenospora humuli. It is the most devastating disease occurring in the western United States. This is basically seen in the moist climate. The spikes look silvery in color but beneath the surface, it looks black. The dwarf stature spores are called basal spikes. In ornamentals, the aggressive form is found in the United States. The Perenospora Manchuria infects the soybean, which leads to the reduction of the photosynthetic activity, quality as well as yield. The spread of the fungus takes place through oospores in the seed and leaves. The disease occurs in high humid conditions like 20-22 degrees Celsius. This can be controlled by the zineb, maneb, or mancozeb. Sunflower is infected by Plasmopara halstedii, whose spores remain dormant for many years in the soil. In spinach, the downy mildew happens because of the Peronospora effusa it is an oomycetes pathogen that affects the spinach production.

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