Efficacy of phosphonic acid, metalaxyl-M and copper hydroxide against Phytophthora ramorum in vitro and in planta

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Plant Pathology, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Volume 58, Number 1, p.111–119 (2009)




disease management, phenotypic variability, Quercus agrifolia, Sudden oak death, Umbellularia californica


The ability of metalaxyl-M, phosphonic acid in the form of phosphonate, and copper hydroxide to inhibit different stages in the life cycle of Phytophthora ramorum, the causal agent of sudden oak death (SOD), was tested in vitro using 12 isolates from the North American forest lineage. In addition, experiments were conducted in planta to study the ability of phosphonic acid injections and metalaxyl-M drenches to control pathogen growth on saplings of California coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia), and of copper hydroxide foliar sprays to control infection of California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica) leaves. Phytophthora ramorum was only moderately sensitive to phosphonic acid in vitro, but was highly sensitive to copper hydroxide. In planta experiments indicated the broad efficacy of phosphonic acid injections and of copper hydroxide sprays in preventing growth of P. ramorum in oaks and bay laurels, respectively. Finally, although metalaxyl-M was effective in vitro, drenches of potted oak trees using this active ingredient were largely ineffective in reducing the growth rate of the pathogen in planta.