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name for certain fungi and protists, for the diseases they cause in various crops, and for the discoloration (and sometimes the weakening and disintegration) they cause in such materials as leather, fabrics, and paper. The powdery mildews usually grow on the surface of plant tissues, forming a gray or white coating and absorbing nourishment from the host. Although traditionally considered fungi, the downy mildews are now more often considered protists. They attack grapes, cucumbers, potatoes, and other vegetables. Methods of making fabrics and leather resistant to mildew have been devised. For the occurrence and control of mildews in agriculture, see diseases of plantsdiseases of plants.
Most plant diseases are caused by fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Although the term disease is usually used only for the destruction of live plants, the action of dry rot and the rotting of harvested crops in storage or transport is similar to the rots
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. Powdery mildews are classified in the kingdom FungiFungi
, kingdom of heterotrophic single-celled, multinucleated, or multicellular organisms, including yeasts, molds, and mushrooms. The organisms live as parasites, symbionts, or saprobes (see saprophyte).
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, phylum (division) Ascomycota; downy mildews are classified in the kingdom ProtistaProtista
or Protoctista
, in the five-kingdom system of classification, a kingdom comprising a variety of unicellular and some simple multinuclear and multicellular eukaryotic organisms.
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, phylum (division) Oomycota.



the infection of plants with diseases similar to downy mildew, which is caused by fungi of the order Peronosporales. In Soviet literature the term “mildew” is conventionally used to designate only downy mildew of grapes.


A whitish growth on plants, organic matter, and other materials caused by a parasitic fungus.
Any fungus producing such growth.


A fungus that grows and feeds on paint, cotton and linen fabric, etc., which are exposed to moisture; causes discoloration and decomposition of the surface.
References in periodicals archive ?
Some are beneficial, but many cause serious problems including deterioration of useful goods, staining, putrid or mildewy odors and health problems ranging from the stimulation of allergies to irritation, sensitization and disease.
Rain, high humidity, condensation and seawater, separately or in combination, reduce otherwise stable cargo into a ruin of soggy, stained, mildewy, rusty or delabeled merchandise.
It will have some red stains, commemorating the mornings and evenings it has witnessed; some dark and rusty, blotches, in memory of the clouds and foggy, mildewy days that have passed over it; and a spacious field of green reflecting the general face of Nature,--green even as the fields; or a yellow ground, which implies a milder flavor,--yellow as the harvest, or russet as the hills.
Another sign of biological infestation of the ductwork is a musty or mildewy smell when the system is first turned on in the spring or the fall.
Expert tip: Lungwort leaves may turn mildewy in summer if the soil dries out too much, so cut the leaves back, almost to ground level, to encourage new shoots to appear.
Summer pruning generally is done only to thin out foliage that may become mildewy or cause fruit to get mildewy due to lack of sunlight or air circulation.
Sitting by the spruce swamp in Conant's woods, I am reminded that this is a perfect day to visit the swamp, with its damp, mistling, mildewy air, so solemnly still.
Arils left on the seed become mildewy and prevent germination.