Downy Mildews and White Blister-Rusts of Wales is the latest in a series of books on the plant pathogens of Wales written by the Welsh Rust Group.
The downy mildews and white blister-rusts are specialist plant pathogens, which, although they are fungus-like, are no longer considered to be related to fungi. DNA analysis indicates otherwise and amongst other features the absence of chitin in cell walls or it’s presence in very low amounts. They belong to the class Oomycota in the Kingdom Chromista, a large class which includes other water moulds and blights. In Wales, 133 different taxa have been recorded in 268 combinations with hosts. Whilst most plants appear to survive alongside these fungus-like organisms, some downy mildews can cause economic loss in crop plants whilst others may help shape ecosystems.
The book provides an identification guide to all the species that can be found in Great Britain & Ireland. Each species is dealt with separately and is accompanied by photographs, with both macroscopic and microscopic images of infected plants and the pathogens. A table of host plant species and their Downy Mildews and White Blister-rusts is provided along with a Census Catalogue of all the species recorded to date in Wales.
This publication seeks to stimulate an interest in them, facilitate their identification and review our current knowledge of their abundance and distribution in Wales.
The main text is in English with a short bilingual summary in English and Welsh and is now a bound book version rather than spiral bound.