The impact of the water moulds Saprolegnia diclina and Saprolegnia parasitica on natural ecosystems and the aquaculture industry

Albert Hendrik Van Den Berg, Debbie McLaggan, Javier Dieguez-Uribeond, Pieter van West*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


A very large number of diseases in agriculture and aquaculture are caused by fungal-like micro-organisms, classified as Oomycetes or water moulds. Collectively, oomycetes represent a huge threat to global food security. In addition, several oomycetes can cause environmental disasters, by wiping out native species of trees, crustacians and amphibians. The group representing the aquatic oomycetes are relatively understudied in contrast to their terrestrial counterparts that predominantly infect plants (e.g. Phytophthora, Pythium and Bremia spp.). This review focuses on the unique characteristics of two aquatic Oomycetes, Saprolegnia parasitica and Saprolegnia diclina with respect to their impact on aquaculture, animal health and the surrounding environment. The species characteristics, ecology, biology, infectivity and identification methods are described and the latest research insights are discussed. (C) 2013 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalFungal Biology Reviews
Issue number2
Early online date8 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • aquaculture
  • oomycete
  • saprolegnia
  • saprolegniosis
  • water mould
  • repeated zoospore emergence
  • aphanomyces-astaci
  • Atlantic salmon
  • rainbow-trout
  • channel catfish
  • viable saprolegniaceae
  • phytophthora-palmivora
  • gene-expression
  • spore cysts
  • brown trout

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