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Biology, Ecology, and Epidemiology of the Potato Late Blight Pathogen Phytophthora infestans in Soil. D. Andrivon. INRA, Station de Pathologie Végétale, Domaine de la Motte, BP 29, F-35650 Le Rheu, France. Phytopathology 85:1053-1056. Accepted for publication 20 July 1995. Copyright 1995 by The American Phytopathological Society. doi:10.1094/Phyto-85-1053.

Over the 150 years that separate us from the first epidemic of potato late blight in Europe and the onset of phytopathology as a science, Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) de Bary has been one of the most extensively studied plant pathogens. It is now commonly perceived as a typical example of an aerial, almost obligate parasite, but the soil stages of its life cycle often have been overlooked. However, sexual or asexual soilborne inoculum is (or could be) significant in three major areas of the biology and pathology of P. infestans: (i) survival of the pathogen and production of primary inoculum (19,25,40); (ii) infection of daughter tubers (49,56); and (iii) variability and evolution of the pathogen (31).