University of California

Downy mildew of the beet, caused by Peronospora schacktii Fuckel


Lysle D. Leach

Author Affiliations

Lysle D. Leach was Instructor in Plant Pathology and Junior Plant Pathologist in the Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 6(7):203-251. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v06n07p203. November 1931.

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Abstract does not appear. First page follows.

The downy mildew, Peronospora schachtii Fuckel, on Beta vulgaris L. has been known in Europe since 1852 but was not observed in this country until 1911. Because of the supposed minor importance of this disease, no extensive studies of its prevalence and distribution had been made in America until 1929 when an epidemic of this disease destroyed over 40 per cent of the seed crop of the garden beet in central California.

Investigations showed that, although this disease has been known more than three-quarters of a century in Europe, comparatively little information was available regarding certain phases of the disease. Therefore, the pathogene was studied in regard to its life history, its host range, and the relation of environment to its attack.

The Disease

Occurrence.—The downy mildew on Beta vulgaris was first described as Peronospora schachtii by Fuckel(16) in 1865 and was distributed as Fung. rhen. 1508. A slightly amplified description was published by the same author(17) in 1869. In 1872, Kühn(24), (25) presented a careful and accurate description of the macroscopic and microscopic symptoms of the disease, using the name P. betae, synonymously with P. schachtii. He stated that he first observed downy mildew of the beet in 1854 and that Schacht had observed the same disease sporadically in the years 1859 to 1861. The oospore stage of the causal fungus was not observed by Kühn(24) but he reported that by means of repeated experiments he had determined that P. schachtii overwintered as mycelium within the crown of the seed beets.

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Leach L. 1931. Downy mildew of the beet, caused by Peronospora schacktii Fuckel. Hilgardia 6(7):203-251. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v06n07p203
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