Production of gametangia by Phytophthora ramorum in vitro

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Mycological Research, Volume 108, Number 7, p.823 - 827 (2004)



Until now gametangia have not been obtained between paired European A1 and American A2 isolates of Phytopthora ramorum in vitro. Their production in artificial culture relies on interspecific pairings. Using P. drechsleri and P. cambivora testers, 51 of 110 P. ramorum isolates from across Europe were all shown to be A1s; while 32 of 38 American isolates from across California and southwest Oregon were shown to be A2s. However, these interspecific pairings are complex, unusually slow and unpredictable. A range of culture media and conditions are described that were tested, unsuccessfully, with a view to enhancing the efficiency of the interspecific pairings. In further tests, gametangia were obtained between A1 and A2 isolates of P. ramorum when juvenile, pre-chlamydospore producing mycelia were mixed together on carrot agar. The gametangia formed in 3–10 d, sparsely to frequently, initially only within the boundaries of the mixed inocula but subsequently in the extended mycelial growth. Chlamydospores were also produced. This inoculum-mixing method, though again sometimes unpredictable, should enhance efficiency of testing for compatibility types and facilitate further studies on whether the sexual outcrossing system of P. ramorum is functional. Differences between sexual reproduction of P. ramorum and that of other heterothallic Phytophthora species are discussed.