Four phenotypically and phylogenetically distinct lineages in Phytophthora lateralis

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Fungal Biology, p.- (2012)



Colony pattern, evolution, Growth rate, Multigene phylogeny, Multivariate analysis, Sporangial morphology


Until recently Phytophthora lateralis was known only as the cause of dieback and mortality of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana in its native range in the Pacific Northwest. Since the 1990s however disease outbreaks have occurred increasingly on ornamental C. lawsoniana in Europe; and in 2007 the pathogen was discovered in soil around old growth C. obtusa in Taiwan, where it may be endemic. When the phenotypes of over 150 isolates of P. lateralis from Taiwan, across the Pacific Northwest (British Columbia to California) and from France, the Netherlands and the UK were compared three growth rate groups were resolved: one slow growing from Taiwan, one fast growing from the Pacific Northwest and Europe and one of intermediate growth from a small area of the UK. Within these growth groups distinct subtypes were identified based on colony patterns and spore metrics and further discriminated in a multivariate analysis. The assumption that the three main growth groups represented phylogenetic units was tested by comparative sequencing of two mitochondrial and three nuclear genes. This assumption was confirmed. In addition two phenotype clusters within the Taiwan growth group were also shown to be phylogenetically distinct. These four phenotypically and genotypically unique populations are informally designated as the Pacific Northwest lineage, the UK lineage, the Taiwan J lineage and the Taiwan K lineage. Their characteristics and distribution are described and their evolution, taxonomic and plant health significance is discussed.