Hall, Richard P. Formerly, University of California, Los Angeles, California.
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Protozoa composing an order of Mycetozoia, endoparasitic in plants and primarily causing, for example, club root of cabbage, powdery scab of potatoes, and galls in Ruppia. Underground portions of host plants are invaded by young parasites, often a flagellate which sometimes arises from a freshly excysted ameba. Becoming intracellular, the young parasite grows, apparently without phagotrophy, and develops into a plasmodium. At maturity, the plasmodium produces uninucleate cysts (spores) which are released upon degeneration of the damaged cell (see illustration). Under favorable conditions, the released spores hatch into uninucleate stages which become the infective forms. In the invaded area, the host's tissue commonly undergoes hypertrophy to form a gall. There are a number of genera, including Plasmodiophora, Spongospora, and Sorosphaera. See also: Protozoa; Rhizopodea; Sarcodina; Sarcomastigophora
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