PCR-RFLP markers identify three lineages of the North American and European populations of Phytophthora ramorum

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Forest Pathology, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Volume 39, Number 4, p.266–278 (2009)




Phytophthora ramorum, the cause of sudden oak death and ramorum blight, has three major clonal lineages and two mating types. Molecular tests currently available for detecting P. ramorum do not distinguish between clonal lineages and mating type is determined by cultural methods on a limited number of samples. In some molecular diagnostic tests, cross-reaction with other closely related species such as P. hibernalis, P. foliorum or P. lateralis can occur. Regions in the mitochondrial gene Cox1 are different among P. ramorum lineages and mitochondrial genotyping of the North American and European populations seems to be sufficient to differentiate between mating types, because the EU1 lineage is mostly A1 and both NA1 and NA2 lineages are A2. In our study, we were able to identify P. ramorum isolates according to lineage using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment-length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) of the Cox1 gene, first by using ApoI to separate P. ramorum from other species and EU1 from North American populations, and then AvaI to distinguish between NA1 and NA2 genotypes. However, P. foliorum had the same restriction profile as P. ramorum NA1 isolates.