|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|
|downy mildew (dou'nē) Pronunciation Key
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.