The fatty acid composition of Plasmopara halstedii and its taxonomic significance.
The fatty acid composition of sunflower downy mildew, Plasmopara halstedii, was compared to other parasitic Oomycetes and to pathogenic fungi associated with sunflower by gas chromatographic analysis. P. halstedii revealed a characteristic profile differing from all other samples by the dominance of 5Z,8Z,11Z,14Z,17Z-eicosapentaenoic acid. The infraspecific variation between the isolates of sunflower downy mildew was low: no correlation was visible between fatty acid profiles and isolates of different pathotypes or from different geographic origins. Lipids from hyphae, zoosporangia and oospores of the pathogen contained the same fatty acids, though the content of 5Z,8Z,11Z,14Z,17Z-eicosapentaenoic acid was significantly lower in oospores. The taxonomic and diagnostic value of the fatty acid profile in P. halstedii is discussed.