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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.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A whitish growth on plants, organic matter, and other materials caused by a parasitic fungus.
Any fungus producing such growth.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
"It was moldy and mildewy," Lutz said of Sehe's beret, which along with old uniforms and other clothing has been restored with the help of Geneva Cleaners, across the street from the post.
The director of the Nanchang City's veterinary unit said that deformity ratio in pigs are often low, and in such cases, it could be the pig had eaten some mildewy fodder before it gave birth.
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.
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.