As you can see in the photo, above, formerly healthy green leaves developed yellow patches bordered by the main veins. After a stretch of high humidity or rain, the symptoms became readily apparent. Controlling Basil Downy Mildew When Growing Resistant Varieties The DM pathogen has the potential to evolve relatively quickly with the emergence of the sexual oospore, which has been reported in infected basil leaves in Italy and Israel. Basil Fungus. How To Recognize Basil Downy Mildew. After investigations into basil downy mildew began, a 2009 round of Rutgers field trials noted some lemon and spice types (Ocimum x citriodorum and O. americanum cultivars) were less affected than common sweet basils (O. basilicum). Efforts to reduce its spread and severity had been thwarted by the absence of an effective seed treatment or chemical control method. Oospores increase the durability of the pathogen, allowing it to overwinter and potentially overcome chemical and genetic control. Source: Starr Environmental. Basil downy mildew is a pathogen discovered in North America in the early 2000s, and it’s wreaking havoc on basil crops in dozens of states. This disease was first detected in Florida in 2007. It’s believed that this form was an evolution of … Downy mildew of basil caused by Peronospora belbahrii has been a huge problem for both commercial producers and home growers. Beginning in 2008 there were a number of infections reported in the eastern US a nd has infected basil in subsequent years. The disease (technically a water mold) can only survive on live basil plants so it does not overwinter outdoors in Maryland. Is this still the thinking? The infection moves from southern states northward each summer. Leaf yellowing is the most noticeable symptom on basil infected with basil downy mildew. It was found in greenhouse, home, and field-grown basil. Yes, there is resistance in some basil types, and the New Jersey researchers are trying to bring it into Genovese basil. In 2007, basil downy mildew (Peronospora belbahrii) was first identified in the U.S. By 2012, it was reported throughout the United States and into Canada. Spores can be carried for miles on the air, in plant tissue, or even in seeds. The disease was first reported in Italy in 2004, [7] was reported in the U.S. in 2007 and 2008 [8] [9] and has been steadily increasing in prevalence, distribution, and economic importance since then. Finding a viable, long-term, and economically sustainable solution to BDM has been a matter of great urgency for basil cultivators worldwide. A. Basil downy mildew arrived in the U.S. (Florida) in 2007 and has been devastating Italian sweet basil crops in Maryland and other states ever since. Thought to have originated in Africa, this disease is problematic because it spreads extremely fast. The condition worsens, as it infects more leaves and more stems. The basil looked fine one day, and the next morning it looked like this! Basil downy mildew (BDM) is dispersed by air-borne spores from infected leaves and seeds. The underside of a basil leaf with downy mildew. Unfortunately, like so many other plant diseases, this fungus-like growth can adapt and change over time.

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