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Aggregation in the distribution of pathotypes of Erysiphe graminis f.sp. hordei, the barley powdery mildew pathogen, was investigated in field plots of ‘Golden Promise’, ‘Proctor’ and ‘Tyra’. ‘Golden Promise’ and ‘Proctor’ have no effective mildew resistance alleles, whereas ‘Tyra’ has Mla1, which was only effective against a proportion of the mildew population. Isolates of mildew were sampled according to a grid sampling scheme and their virulence spectra ascertained in order to group them according to pathotype. The populations were very diverse, and evidence for aggregation (quantified using join counts) was found only in the ‘Tyra’ plots, at distances of up to 1m. This aggregation was reduced in a subsequent sample. The results are consistent with a model in which mildew epidemics are started by a large number of initial infections, which then form diffuse, overlapping aggregations of clones. These aggregations then become more diffuse, so that the amount of aggregation reduces with time. The greater amount of aggregation seen in the ‘Tyra’ plots might have been caused by there being less initial inoculum with virulence towards that cultivar.