Diversity of Phytophthora species in natural ecosystems of Taiwan and association with disease symptoms

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Plant Pathology, Volume 66, p.194–211 (2017)




In 2013 a survey of Phytophthora diversity was performed in 25 natural and seminatural forest stands and 25 rivers in temperate montane and subtropical lowland regions of Taiwan. Using baiting assays, 10 described species and 17 previously unknown taxa of Phytophthora were isolated from 71.5% of the 144 rhizosphere soil samples from 33 of 40 tree species sampled in 24 forest stands, and from 19 rivers: P. capensis, P. citrophthora, P. plurivora, P. tropicalis, P. citricola VII, P. sp. × botryosa-like, P. sp. × meadii-like and P. sp. occultans-like from Clade 2; P. palmivora from Clade 4; P. castaneae and P. heveae from Clade 5; P. chlamydospora and P. sp. forestsoil-like from Clade 6; P. cinnamomi (Pc), P. parvispora, P. attenuata nom. prov., P. flexuosa nom. prov., P. formosa nom. prov., P. intricata nom. prov., P. × incrassata nom. prov. and P. × heterohybrida nom. prov. from Clade 7; P. sp. palustris and five new hybrid species from Clade 9. The A1 mating type of Pc was widespread in both montane and lowland forests and rarely associated with disease, whereas the A2 mating type was limited to lowland forests and in some cases causing severe dieback. Most other Phytophthora species were not associated with obvious disease symptoms. It is concluded that (i) Taiwan is within the centre of origin of most Phytophthora taxa found, (ii) Pc A2 is an introduced invasive pathogen, and (iii) interspecific hybridizations play a major role in speciation and species radiations in diverse natural ecosystems.


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