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(Gr. ôon: egg; mykês, mykêtos: fungus) A phylum of the Protoctista that includes the water moulds, downy mildews, and potato blight (Phytophthora), formerly classified as a class of fungi (Oomycetes). They are coenocytic and the cell wall is made of cellulose. Oomycotes are either saprotrophic or parasitic; they feed by extending hypha-like threads into the food source or host's body. Asexual reproduction is by means of flagellated zoospores, which are released from a sporangium. Sexual reproduction involves the fusion of an antheridium and an oogonium and results in the production of a zygote, which can develop a wall of chitin and become a resistant oospore.


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The Phylum Oomycota is a member of the Superphylum Panarthropoda. Here is the complete "parentage" of Oomycota:

The Phylum Oomycota is further organized into finer groupings including:


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O?mycota or o?mycetes form a distinct phylogenetic lineage of fungus-like eukaryotic microorganisms. They are filamentous, microscopic, absorptive organisms that reproduce both sexually and asexually. Oomycetes occupy both saprophytic and pathogenic lifestyles ? and include some of the most notorious pathogens of plants, causing devastating diseases such as late blight of potato and sudden oak death. They are also often referred to as water molds (or water moulds), although the water-preferring nature which led to that name is not true of most species, which are terrestrial pathogens. [more]

At least 1,999 species and subspecies belong to the Class Oomycetes.

More info about the Class Oomycetes may be found here.


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Last Revised: August 22, 2014
2014/08/22 05:22:56