Phytophthora kernoviae in New Zealand

Publication Type:

Conference Proceedings


Phytophthoras in Forests and Natural Ecosystems., U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station, Volume General Technical Report PSW-GTR-221, Monterey, California, p.47-53 (2009)


Phytophthora kernoviae was first recognised in New Zealand in 2005 by DNA sequencing of an isolate that had been recovered from diseased Annona cherimola (cherimoya or custard apple) in an abandoned orchard in Northland in 2002. Subsequent investigation has recovered P. kernoviae from the soil in Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Taupo regions. Similarity between P. kernoviae and descriptions of an undescribed Phytophthora sp. found previously in New Zealand indicates that the organism has been present here since at least 1953. This, along with the geographic range of P. kernoviae, and a polymorphism in the ITS sequence, suggest that the pathogen has been present in New Zealand for an even longer time. Little is known of the ecological behaviour of the pathogen in New Zealand; disease has only been recorded on A. cherimola.