Taxon profile


Phytomyxea Engler & Prantl, 1897

kingdom Rhizaria »  phylum Cercozoa »  subphylum Endomyxa

Scientific synonyms


The Phytomyxea are a group of protists that are parasites of plants. A more common name for them is the plasmodiophorids, but this does not always include Phagomyxa. They typically develop within plant cells, causing the infected tissue to grow into a gall or scab. Important diseases caused by phytomyxeans include club root in cabbage and its relatives, and powdery scab in potatoes. These are caused by species of Plasmodiophora and Spongospora, respectively.

The vegetative form is a multinucleate cell, called a plasmodium. This ultimately divides to form new spores, which are released when the host cell breaks. Both resting spores and motile zoospores, which generally have two smooth flagella, are produced at different stages. Within the plasmodium, dividing nuclei have a distinctive cross-like appearance.

Plasmodiophorids are traditionally considered slime moulds (Mycetozoa), because of the plasmodial stage. Thus they are often classified as fungi, and given names such as the Plasmodiophoromycota. However, genetic and ultrastructural studies indicate they belong to a diverse group of protists called the Cercozoa, or are closely related to them.


Wikipedia contributors. Phytomyxea [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2008 Feb 22, 19:09 UTC [cited 2008 Mar 16]. Available from:

Included taxa

Number of records: 3

order Phagomyxida Cavalier-Smith, 1993
order Plasmodiophorida Cook, 1928

Unplaced taxa

Links and literature

EN The Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera [1494]

Rees, T. (compiler): The Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera [] [as Phytomyxea Engler & Prantl, 1897 orthog. emend Cavalier-Smith, 1993]
Data retrieved on: 29 November 2019

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inc.sed. incertae sedis - uncertain placement within this taxon