Early View Forest Pathology article

Diversity of Phytophthoraspecies in Valdivian rainforests and association with severe dieback symptoms.

The Valdivian rainforest, one of the global hotspots of biodiversity, is a temperate rainforest originating as a Tertiary relic from the supercontinent Gondwana. In November 2014, a survey of Phytophthora diversity was performed in 13 natural forest stands and 20 forest streams and rivers in two protected areas near Valdivia and in a temperate montane forest in the Concepción area. One planted stand each of the introduced tree species Castanea sativa and Fagus sylvatica were also included. Using baiting assays, eight described species and four previously unknown taxa of Phytophthora were isolated from 86% of the 50 rhizosphere soil samples from seven of the eight tree species sampled in 12 forest stands, and from 20 streams: P. chlamydospora, P. cinnamomi, P. kernoviae, P. lacustris, P. plurivora, P. pseudosyringae, P. ×cambivora, P×stagnum, P. valdiviana nom. prov. from Clade 2b, P. madida nom. prov. from Clade 8a, and P. chilensis nom. prov. and P. pseudokernoviae nom. prov. The latter two species are the closest relatives of P. kernoviae from Clade 10. Phytophthora pseudokernoviae nom. prov. was also isolated from necrotic leaves of Drimys winteri. From the Valdivia river, a swarm of three Clade 6 hybrids was recovered. Each hybrid isolate resulted from multiple reticulation events with P. thermophila as maternal and both P. amnicola and P. chlamydospora as paternal parents. In addition, three previously unknown and recently described Nothophytophthora species, N. caduca, N. chlamydospora and N. valdiviana, were isolated from several forest streams. Phytophthora cinnamomi, the most common and widespread species in soils of native forests, was associated with severe dieback of Valdivian rainforest trees, in particular D. winteri, Luma apiculata, Nothofagus dombeyi and the endangered Saxegothaea conspicua. A first pathogenicity test demonstrated high aggressiveness of P. cinnamomi to several native tree species, including N. dombeyi, Blepharocalyx cruckshanksii and Gevuina avellana.