Phytophthora kernoviae sp. nov., an invasive pathogen causing bleeding stem lesions on forest trees and foliar necrosis of ornamentals in the UK

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Mycological Research, Volume 109, Number 8, p.853 - 859 (2005)



A new Phytophthora pathogen of trees and shrubs, previously informally designated Phytophthora taxon C, is formally named here as P. kernoviae. P. kernoviae was discovered in late 2003 during surveys of woodlands in Cornwall, south-west England, for the presence of another invasive pathogen, P. ramorum. P. kernoviae is self-fertile (homothallic), having plerotic oogonia, often with distinctly tapered stalks and amphigynous antheridia. It produces papillate sporangia, sometimes markedly asymmetric with medium length pedicels. Its optimum temperature for growth is ca 18 $ınfty$C and upper limit ca 26$ınfty$. Currently, P. kernoviae is especially noted for causing bleeding stem lesions on mature Fagus sylvatica and foliar and stem necrosis of Rhododendron ponticum. P. kernoviae is the latest of several invasive tree Phytophthoras recently identified in the UK. Its geographical origins and the possible plant health risk it poses are discussed.