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downy mildew

noun
1.
Also called false mildew. any fungus of the family Peronosporaceae, causing many plant diseases and producing a white, downy mass of conidiophores, usually on the under surface of the leaves of the host plant.
2.
Plant Pathology. a disease of plants, characterized by mildewed, distorted, and yellowed foliage, caused by any of several fungi of the family Peronosporaceae, as of the genera Peronospora and Phytophthora.
Origin
1885-1890
1885-90
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for downy-mildew

downy mildew

noun
1.
a serious plant disease, characterized by yellowish patches on the undersurface of the leaves, caused by the parasitic fungi of the family Peronosporaceae, such as Peronospora destructor: affects onions, cauliflower, lettuce, etc
2.
any of the fungi causing this disease
Compare powdery mildew
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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downy-mildew in Science
downy mildew
  (dou'nē)   
A disease of plants caused by oomycete organisms of the order Peronosporales and characterized by gray, velvety patches of spores on the lower surfaces of leaves. Downy mildew of the grapevine nearly destroyed the French wine industry in the 1870s, spurring the development of the first chemical pesticides used on plants.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for downy-mildew

downy mildew

disease of plants, especially in cool humid regions, caused by several fungi, including species of Basidiophora, Bremia, Peronospora, Phytophthora, Plasmopara, Pseudoperonospora, and Sclerospora. White, gray, bluish, or violet downy patches of mildew form mostly on the undersides of leaves in damp weather. Pale-green to yellow or brown areas usually develop on the upper leaf surface opposite the downy growth. Affected leaves often wilt, wither, and die early. Stems, flowers, and fruits are sometimes infected. Seedlings may wilt and collapse. Garden plants, bush fruits, vegetables, and certain trees, shrubs, field crops, and weeds are susceptible.

Learn more about downy mildew with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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