Phytophthora pinifolia sp. nov. associated with a serious needle disease of Pinus radiata in Chile

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Plant Pathology, Volume 57, p.715–727 (2008)



Monterey pine, oomycete phylogeny, plantation forestry


During the course of the past three years, a new disease of ,em>Pinus radiata, referred to as ‘Daño Foliar del Pino’ (DFP) has appeared in the Arauco province of Chile and subsequently spread to other areas. The disease is typified by needle infections, exudation of resin at the bases of the needle brachyblasts and, in younger trees, necrotic lesions in the cambium, which eventually girdle the branches. The disease causes the death of young seedlings and mature trees can also succumb after a few years of successive infection, probably hastened by opportunistic fungi such as ,em>Diplodia pinea. Isolations on selective medium for Phytophthora spp. led to the consistent isolation of a Phytophthora sp. from needle tissue. DNA sequence comparisons for the ITS rDNA and cox II gene regions, and morphological observation showed that this oomycete represents a previously undescribed species for which the name Phytophthora pinifolia sp. nov. is provided. This new species is characterized by unbranched sporangiophores, and non-papillate, sub-globose to ovoid sporangia that are occasionally free from the sporangiophore with medium length pedicels. Despite using a number of oospore inducing techniques, oogonia/antheridia were not observed in isolates of P. pinifolia. Pathogenicity trials with P. pinifolia showed that it is pathogenic to P. radiata and causes rapid death of the succulent apical parts of young plants. Phytophthora pinifolia is the first Phytophthora known to be associated with needles and shoots of a Pinus sp. and its aerial habit is well matched with the occurrence and symptoms of DFP in Chile.