Widespread, generalist soil-borne pathogen impacting young and mature plants - causing damping off, rots and stunting.

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  • Pythium spp form mycelium, like fungi, but belong to distinct group of microorganisms called oomycetes
  • Can produce zoospores that swim in water and infect roots
  • Can survive for months/years in soil as resting spores – oospores
  • Soil-dwelling and can colonise irrigation systems and growing media
  • Highly important pathogen in hydroponic crops
  • Contaminated transplants, water, dust and plant fragments on people and tools can all be a source of Pythium inoculum
  • Fungus gnats and shore flies can introduce / disperse Pythium in greenhouses
  • Pythium genus contains many pathogenic species –P. ultimumP. aphanidermatum and P. sylvaticum

Damage caused

  • Propagation – can cause seed rot and damping off in young plants
  • Mature plants – infects roots and can cause stunting, root rot and crown rot


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