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Early view Phytopathology article
Ms. Justine Beaulieu, Mr. Blain B Ford, and Dr. Yilmaz Balci. Phytopathology 0 0:ja
Genetic diversity of two Phytophthora species, P. cinnamomi (102 isolates) and P. plurivora (186), commonly encountered in Maryland nurseries and forests in the Mid-Atlantic United States was characterized using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). Expected heterozygosity and other indices suggested a lower level of diversity among P. cinnamomi than P. plurivora. Hierarchical clustering showed P. cinnamomi isolates separated into four clusters, and two of the largest clusters were closely related, containing 80% of the isolates. In contrast, P. plurivora isolates separated into six clusters, one of which included approximately 40% of the isolates. P. plurivora isolates recovered from the environment (e.g. soil, water) were genotypically more diverse than those found causing lesions. For both species, isolate origin (forest vs. nursery or among nurseries) was a significant factor of heterozygosity. Clonal groups existed within P. cinnamomi and P. plurivora and included isolates from both forest and nurseries, suggesting that a pathway from nurseries to forests or visa verse exists.

January 2017 Plant Disease article
First Report of Phytophthora × multiformis on Alnus glutinosa in Spain
C. Pintos-Varela, C. Rial-Martínez, O. Aguín-Casal, and J. P. Mansilla-Vázquez. Plant Disease 2017 101:1, 261-261
Alder species are threatened by a lethal disease caused by the oomycete Phytophthora alni, one of the most important emergent pathogens of natural ecosystems in Europe during the last 20 years (Aguayo et al. 2014). Phytophthora alder decline has caused substantial economic losses and ecological damage from riparian alder populations. Initially, three different subspecies had been described, P. alni subsp. alni, P. alni subsp. uniformis, and P. alni subsp. multiformis. Recently, they have been raised to species status and renamed P. × alni, P. uniformis, and P. × multiformis, respectively (Husson et al. 2015). P. × alni was reported to be the most aggressive and pathogenic to alders. The other two species appear to be less aggressive, but are also considered pathogenic (Brasier and Kirk 2001). In Spain, P. × alni and P. uniformis has also been detected (Pintos Varela et al. 2012). In April 2014, crown dieback and mortality of Alnus glutinosa were noted across the riparian area along the Muiños River in Galicia (northwest Spain). Affected trees, showing abnormally small, yellow, and sparse leaves and necrotic lesions in the inner bark, were surveyed. Samples of bark including the cambium from active lesions, roots, and soil were collected. Phytophthora spp. were baited from saturated rhizosphere soil using carnation petals. Roots and tissue from fresh active inner bark lesions were plated onto selective medium V8-PARPH agar and incubated for 7 days at 22°C in the dark. A Phytophthora sp. isolated from root and bark was transferred to carrot agar (CA) and incubated in the dark. More....

New Plant Pathology article Nov 2016

Two Phytophthora species causing decline of wild olive (Olea europaea subsp. europaea var. sylvestris). (2016) González, M., Pérez-Sierra, A., Serrano, M. S. and Sánchez, M. E., Plant Pathol. doi:10.1111/ppa.12649.

Since 2009, a severe decline leading to mortality has been observed affecting nearly 5 ha of a wild olive woodland of high ecological value in Seville, southern Spain. Phytophthora cryptogea and P. megasperma were consistently isolated from roots and rhizosphere of trees with symptoms sampled in 2009, 2011 and 2013. The isolates were identified on the basis of colony and reproductive structure morphology as well as temperature–growth relationships, and identification was further corroborated by their ITS and β-tubulin sequences. Koch's postulates were demonstrated for both species on 1-year-old wild olives. Pathogenicity tests showed that both Phytophthora spp. are highly aggressive pathogens, although temperature–growth requirements for each species were distinct. As a consequence, the two species may be active in different seasons and their epidemiology may be differently influenced by global climate change, and they may show their active periods in different climatic scenarios. The climate change models for the Mediterranean Basin forecast a global temperature increase that favours the more thermophilic P. cryptogea. The high susceptibility to phytophthora root rot should not be disregarded in olive breeding programmes where wild olive is used as a source of resistance to verticillium wilt.


New Plant Pathology article

Sporulation potential, symptom expression and detection of Phytophthora ramorum on larch needles and other foliar hosts. Harris. A. R. and Webber, J. F. (2016). Plant Pathol, 65: 1441–1451. doi:10.1111/ppa.12538

Phytophthora ramorum has caused extensive dieback and mortality of commercially grown Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi) in many parts of the UK, as infected foliage generates spores that then cause bark lesions and girdling cankers on trees. Following inoculation, individual needles of Japanese, European (L. decidua) and hybrid (L. × eurolepis) larch infected with P. ramorum can produce thousands of sporangia. Mean numbers of sporangia ranged from 806 to 1778 per cm2 (hybrid larch and Japanese larch, respectively), surpassing mean sporulation levels on foliar hosts previously associated with P. ramorum outbreaks in Britain, namely Rhododendron ponticum, Castanea sativa and Vaccinium myrtillus. Sporulation on larch even exceeded that of California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica), which drives the sudden oak death epidemic in California. Inoculation of foliage selected at different times of year revealed that foliage age significantly affected sporulation levels, but this varied with host species. However, symptom development and sporulation were often not correlated. Symptoms on larch were frequently insignificant or even absent at certain times of year, with sometimes the only evidence of infection being the emergence of sporangia from needles, without any sign of discolouration or necrosis. Plating infected but symptomless needles onto Phytophthora selective medium also often failed to yield the pathogen. Symptomless infection of larch needles apparently occurs, but is only detectable with microscopy. More generally, it is suggested that diagnosis of Phytophthora infection in conifers is often underestimated due to isolation difficulties and delayed symptom expression.


Journal of Phytopathology article

The Effect of Exposure to Decreasing Relative Humidity on the Viability of Phytophthora ramorum sporangia. Tooley, P. W. and Browning, M. (2016), J Phytopathol, 164: 874–881. doi:10.1111/jph.12506

Sporangia of three isolates of Phytophthora ramorum representing three different clonal lineages were subjected to relative humidity (RH) levels between 80 and 100% for exposure periods ranging from 1 to 24 h at 20°C in darkness. Plastic containers (21.5 × 14.5 × 5 cm) were used as humidity chambers with 130 ml of glycerine solution added to each container. Glycerine concentrations corresponded to 100, 95, 90, 85 and 80% RH based on refractive index measurements. Sporangia suspensions were pipeted onto nitrile mesh squares (1.5 × 1.5 cm, 15 micron pore size) which were placed in the humidity chambers and incubated at 20°C in darkness. Following exposure periods of 1, 2, 4, 8, 12 and 24 h, mesh squares were inverted onto Petri dishes of selective medium and sporangia germination assessed after 24 and 48 h. At 100% RH, we observed a mean value of 88% germination after 1 h exposure declining to 18% germination following 24 h incubation. At 95% RH, a steeper decline in germination was noted, with means ranging from 79% at 1 h to less than 1% at 24 h exposure. At 90% RH, no germination was noted after 8 or more h exposure, and values were 57%, 22% and 3% germination for the 1, 2 and 4 h exposures, respectively. Germination was only observed at 1 h exposure for both the 85% RH treatment (52% germination) and the 80% RH treatment (38% germination). The three isolates responded similarly over the range of RH values tested. The germination response of P. ramorum sporangia to RH values between 80% and 100% was comparable to that reported for other Phytophthora species. Knowledge of conditions that affect Pramorum sporangia germination can shed light on pathogenesis and epidemic potential and lead to improved control recommendations.


New Plant Disease article December 2016

First Report of Phytophthora uniformis and P. plurivora Causing Stem Cankers on Alnus glutinosa in Denmark.

M. Á. Redondo, I. M. Thomsen, and J. Oliva. Plant Disease 0 0:0, PDIS-09-16-1287-PDN
Phytophthora uniformis (Brasier & S.A. Kirk) Husson, Ioos & Aguayo, comb. nov. is an aggressive pathogen associated with root and collar rot of alder trees (Alnus spp.) in Europe (Husson et al. 2015). In summer 2016, symptomatic trees were observed in the banks of a backwater lake area of the river Gurre Å (56°1′46.24″N, 12°27′15.30″E, 29 m above sea level). Several trees displayed chlorosis, reduced leaf size, defoliation, and bleeding cankers on the base of the stem. Inspections upstream near Gurre forest failed in finding other trees with similar crown symptoms, whereas a tree with a bleeding canker was observed downstream (56°3′10.97″N, 12°26′4.40″E, 23 m above sea level). Bark from six trees in the first site and from the tree in the second site was removed from the canker area. As described in Redondo et al. (2015), pieces of 1 cm × 0.5 cm × 1 mm of necrotic cambial tissue from the infection front were plated directly into CMA-PARPBH selective medium. Growing hyphae were transferred onto V8 juice agar medium and incubated at 20°C. Isolates from the first site grew 5 mm/day and formed cottony uniform colonies. More....

KVAL news story - New strain of Sudden Oak Death detected in small number of trees in northern Curry County

Tuesday, Nov 8, 2016

CURRY COUNTY -- An infestation of the European strain (EU1) of P. ramorum, the causal agent of Sudden Oak Death, has been discovered in 12 tanoak trees and one grand fir seedling in the Curry County wildlands, Oregon Dept. of Forestry officials said.

Testing results are still pending for another grand fir tree and 11 tanoaks. No infestations of the EU1 strain have been found in Douglas fir trees in the area, officials said.

Certain species of oak commonly found in Oregon, including tanoak and California black oak, are highly susceptible to and more likely to die from the disease. Though firs can be affected by SOD, the disease damages new shoots and twigs when growing near heavily infested tanoak and does not appear to kill mature firs.


New Plant Disease article December 2016

Phytophthora gonapodyides Causes Decline and Death of English (Persian) Walnut (Juglans regia) in Italy A. Belisario, L. Luongo, S. Vitale, M. Galli, and A. Haegi.

Plant Disease, Volume 100, Number 12, Page 2537 http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-03-16-0394-PDN

In late spring 2015, several commercially grown Persian walnut (Juglans regia L.) cv. Lara trees in northeastern Italy (Udine) exhibited extensive foliar wilt and canopy decline associated with collar and root rot. Sudden collapse was recorded in about 80% of trees facing an irrigation canal. Symptomatic tissues excised from roots and collars of affected plants were surface disinfested for 1 min in a 1% NaOCl solution, rinsed for 5 min in sterile distilled water, and placed onto P5ARPH selective medium. A Phytophthora-like organism was consistently isolated. Pure cultures, with a typical rosette pattern, were obtained by single-hyphal transfers onto potato dextrose agar (PDA).

New Phytophthora alni article in Journal of Maps

Potential risk of occurrence of Phytophthora alni in forests of the Czech Republic

Phytophthora alni is an invasive organism that causes root and collar rot in alders, which significantly damages the forest and riparian vegetation of alder trees in Central and Western Europe. In the Czech Republic, this pathogen was first confirmed in 2001, and since then it has been gradually spreading from the west to the east. Here, we applied a model of potential distribution that estimates the level and spatial variability of the pathogen occurrence and spread risk for Czech Republic forests to target the early detection and control the further invasion of P. alni in this region. Our predictions are based on a rigorous statistical analysis of data obtained from field survey as well as available geodatabases. We used two sets of predictor variables describing (i) the forest stands and (ii) neighbourhood of the stands, and generalized linear modelling with forward stepwise selection of predictors. The results of statistical analysis showed the significant effect of the area of the forest stand, forest vegetation zone, presence of watercourse and area of alder stands in the neighbourhood on the probability of occurrence of P. alni in the study region. The map derived based on the final model shows the potential risk of occurrence and impact of P. alni in forests of the Czech Republic as classified on a five-point scale ranging from very low risk for alder stands with a low level of likely invasion to very sensitive alder stands with high probability of pathogen occurrence and high levels of damage. This is a unique output not only for the Czech Republic but also throughout Europe.

New Plant Disease article

Endemic and Emerging Pathogens Threatening Cork Oak Trees: Management Options for Conserving a Unique Forest Ecosystem.

Moricca S, Linaldeddu BT, Ginetti B, Scanu B, Franceschini A, Ragazzi A. Endemic and Emerging Pathogens Threatening Cork Oak Trees: Management Options for Conserving a Unique Forest Ecosystem. Plant Disease [Internet]. 2016  ;100(11):2184 - 2193. Available from: http://apsjournals.apsnet.org/doi/10.1094/PDIS-03-16-0408-FE

Cork oak (Quercus suber) forests are economically and culturally intertwined with the inhabitants of the Mediterranean basin and characterize its rural landscape. These forests cover over two million hectares in the western Mediterranean basin and sustain a rich biodiversity of endemisms as well as representing an important source of income derived from cork production. Currently cork oak forests are threatened by several factors including human-mediated disturbances such as poor or inappropriate management practices, adverse environmental conditions (irregular water regime with prolonged drought periods), and attacks of pathogens and pests. All these adverse factors can interact, causing a complex disease commonly known as “oak decline.” Despite the numerous investigations carried out so far, decline continues to be the main pathological problem of cork oak forests because of its complex etiology and the resulting difficulties in defining suitable control strategies. An overview of the literature indicates that several pathogenic fungi and oomycota can play a primary role in the etiology of this syndrome. Therefore, the aim of this review is to analyze the recent advances achieved regarding the bio-ecology of the endemic and emerging pathogens that threaten cork oak trees with particular emphasis on the species more directly involved in oak decline. Moreover, the effect of climate change on the host-pathogen interactions, a task fundamental for making useful decisions and managing cork oak forests properly, is considered.