Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:Forest Pathology, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Volume 42, p.289–298 (2011)
Phytophthora multivora is associated with the rhizosphere of declining Eucalyptus gomphocephala, Eucalyptus marginata and Agonis flexuosa. Two pathogenicity experiments were conducted. The first experiment examined the pathogenicity of five P. multivora isolates and one Phytophthora cinnamomi isolate on the root systems of E. gomphocephala and one P. multivora isolate on the root system of E. marginata. In the second experiment, the pathogenicity of P. multivora to E. gomphocephala and E. marginata saplings was measured using under-bark stem inoculation. In Experiment 1, the P. cinnamomi isolate was more aggressive than all P. multivora isolates causing significant loss of fine roots and plant death. Two P. multivora isolates and the P. cinnamomi isolate caused significant losses of E. gomphocephala fine roots 0-2 mm in diameter and significantly reduced the surface area of roots 0-1 mm in diameter. One P. multivora and the P. cinnamomi isolate significantly reduced the surface area of roots 1-2 mm in diameter. Two of the P. multivora isolates significantly reduced the number of E. gomphocephala root tips. In E. marginata, the length and surface area of roots 0-1 mm in diameter and number of root tips were significantly reduced by P. multivora infestation. Rhizosphere infestation with the P. multivora isolates and P. cinnamomi isolate on E. gomphocephala, and one P. multivora isolate on E. marginata, did not significantly influence the foliar nutrient concentrations. In Experiment 2, under-bark inoculation with P. multivora caused significant lesion extension in E. gomphocephala and E. marginata saplings, compared to the control. We propose that P. multivora is inciting E. gomphocephala and E. marginata decline by causing fine root loss and subsequently interfering with nutrient cycling throughout the plant. The impact of fine root loss on the physiology of plants in sites infested with P. multivora requires further research.