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Early view Phytopathology article

Temporal Epidemiology of Sudden Oak Death in Oregon.

Peterson, E.; Hansen, E.; and Kanaskie, A. 2015. Phytopathology.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-12-14-0348-FI

An effort to eradicate Phytophthora ramorum , causal agent of sudden oak death, has been underway since its discovery in Oregon forests. Using an information-theoretical approach we sought to model yearly variation in the size of newly infested areas and dispersal distance. Maximum dispersal distances were best modeled by spring and winter precipitation two years before detection, and infestation size the year prior. Infestation size was best modeled by infestation size and spring precipitation the year prior. In our interpretation, there is a two year delay between the introduction of inoculum and onset of mortality for a majority of sites. The year-long gap in between allows ample time for the production of inoculum contributing to the spread of P. ramorum. This is supported by epidemic development following changes in eradication protocols precipitated by an outbreak in 2011, attributable to a 2009 treatment delay and an uncharacteristically wet spring in 2010. Post-eradication, we have observed an increase in the total area of new outbreaks and increased frequency in dispersal distances greater than 4 km. While the eradication program has not eliminated P. ramorum from Oregon forests it has likely moderated this epidemic, emphasizing the need for prompt treatment of future invasive forest pathogens.


Early view Forest Pathology article 13 May 2015

Variation in pathogenicity among the three subspecies of Phytophthora alni on detached leaves, twigs and branches of Alnus glutinosa

Haque, M. M. U., Martín-García, J. and Diez, J. J. (2015). Forest Pathology. doi: 10.1111/efp.12198

Pathogenicity tests were carried out on leaves, twigs and branches of Alnus glutinosa using several isolates of Phytophthora alni ssp. alni, P. alni ssp. multiformis and P. alni ssp. uniformis in vitro. Healthy fresh leaves were collected from disease-free areas and inoculated with mycelium on agar discs or by dipping in zoospore suspensions. In addition, twigs and branches were collected from both disease-free and disease-affected areas, inoculated with mycelium on agar discs and incubated at four temperatures (15, 20, 25, 30°C). All subspecies tested were pathogenic but with varied level of virulence. In inoculation tests on foliage, wounding was a key factor in causing infections: lesions on inoculated wounded leaves were larger than on non-wounded leaves. In the twig and branch inoculation tests, no differences in virulence were observed among the P. alni subspecies in terms of sampling locations, but lesions differed in size according to incubation temperature, with the largest lesions occurring on tissues incubated at 25°C. The work is the first to report foliar necrosis caused by P. alni on A. glutinosa. P. alni ssp. uniformis was the least virulent of the subspecies in branch inoculations. These findings demonstrate that various tissues of A. glutinosa could act as sources of pathogen inoculum and may disseminate alder Phytophthora in natural ecosystems.



New Plant Pathology article April 2015

Phytophthora austrocedrae emerges as a serious threat to juniper (Juniperus communis) in Britain.

Green, S., Elliot, M., Armstrong, A. and Hendry, S. J. (2015), Plant Pathology, 64: 456–466. doi: 10.1111/ppa.12253

From 2011 to 2013, Phytophthora austrocedrae was isolated from diseased Juniperus communis exhibiting dieback and mortality at eight geographically separate sites in Scotland and northern England. The pathogen was also confirmed present either by standard PCR of the ITS locus and sequencing or by real-time PCR on J. communis with symptoms at a further 11 sites in northern Britain. Out of 167 J. communis sampled across the 19 sites, 154 had foliage dieback over all or part of the crown as a result of basal lesions, which extended up the stem. Thirteen sampled trees had aerial branch lesions or discrete stem lesions with no apparent connection to the base of the tree. At 13 sites, dieback was concentrated in areas of poor drainage and/or alongside streams and other watercourses. In artificial inoculation experiments, P. austrocedrae caused rapidly extending stem and root lesions on J. communis and was reisolated from these lesions. Lesions also developed on Chamaecyparis lawsoniana and Chamaecyparis nootkatensis but the pathogen was not reisolated. All P. austrocedrae isolates obtained from J. communis in Britain shared 100% identity across the ITS locus but were distinct at one sequence position from P. austrocedrae isolates collected in Argentina from diseased Austrocedrus chilensis. This study provides clear evidence that P. austrocedrae is a primary pathogen of Jcommunis and now presents a significant threat to this species in Britain. Pathways for the emergence of P. austrocedrae in Britain, and possible ways in which the pathogen may have spread within the country, are discussed.


New European Journal of Plant Pathology article

Role of salicylic acid in phosphite-induced protection against Oomycetes; a Phytophthora cinnamomi - Lupinus augustifolius model system

Groves, E; Howard, K; Hardy, G; Burgess T Eur J Plant Pathol (2015) 141:559-569 DOI 10.1007/s10658-014-0562-y


Phosphite is used to control Oomycetes in a wide range of horticultural and native plant species worldwide. However, phosphite can be phytotoxic, and some pathogens have exhibited a reduction in the effectiveness of phosphite due to prolonged use. In this study, salicylic acid (SA) was investigated as an alter- native, or supplementary, treatment to be used to protect plant species. With the use of aeroponics chambers, foliar application of phosphite, SA, and phosphite/SA to Lupinus augustifolius was assessed in relation to root tip damage, in planta phosphite and SA concentration and lesion development. Both phosphite and SA were measurable at the root tip within 24 h of application, and all treatments significantly (P≤0.05) reduced the lesion length at 7 days. However, while phosphite and SA application increased the in planta SA concentration, phosphite caused significantly more damage to the root tip by reducing root cap layers and length than the SA, or phosphite/SA application. This study supports the notion that phosphite-induced sensitivity may be SA- dependent, as both phosphite and SA were found to control P. cinnamomi and stimulate SA accumulation. A combination of phosphite and SA may be more beneficial to plants if it can reduce phytotoxic effects and reduce the chance of pathogen sensitivity to phosphite.


New Phytopathology article January 2015

Detection, Diversity, and Population Dynamics of Waterborne Phytophthora ramorum Populations

C. A.Eyre and M.Garbelotto, Phytopathology 2015 105:1, 57-68

Sudden oak death, the tree disease caused by Phytophthora ramorum, has significant environmental and economic impacts on natural forests on the U.S. west coast, plantations in the United Kingdom, and in the worldwide nursery trade. Stream baiting is vital for monitoring and early detection of the pathogen in high-risk areas and is performed routinely; however, little is known about the nature of water-borne P. ramorum populations. Two drainages in an infested California forest were monitored intensively using stream-baiting for 2 years between 2009 and 2011. Pathogen presence was determined both by isolation and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from symptomatic bait leaves. Isolates were analyzed using simple sequence repeats to study population dynamics and genetic structure through time. Isolation was successful primarily only during spring conditions, while PCR extended the period of pathogen detection to most of the year. Water populations were extremely diverse, and changed between seasons and years. A few abundant genotypes dominated the water during conditions considered optimal for aerial populations, and matched those dominant in aerial populations. Temporal patterns of genotypic diversification and evenness were identical among aerial, soil, and water populations, indicating that all three substrates are part of the same epidemiological cycle, strongly influenced by rainfall and sporulation on leaves. However, there was structuring between substrates, likely arising due to reduced selection pressure in the water. Additionally, water populations showed wholesale mixing of genotypes without the evident spatial autocorrelation present in leaf and soil populations.


Early view Forest Pathology article 12 NOV 2014

Update on the 35-year expansion of the invasive root pathogen, Phytophthora lateralis, across a landscape of Port Orford cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana)

E. S. Jules, C. M. Steenbock and A. L. Carroll

Forest Pathology Article first published online: 12 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/efp.12158

Port Orford cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) is endemic to northern California and southwestern Oregon and is considered a foundation species that plays critical roles in riparian areas and on nutrient-poor soils. Since 1952, a non-native, pathogenic oomycete (Phytophthora lateralis) has been spreading throughout the range of the cedar. Most spread occurs by vehicles carrying infested soil along gravel roads primarily used for timber harvest. In a previous study conducted in 1998 and 1999, Port Orford cedar and P. lateralis were censused in a 37-km2 study area and dendrochronology was used to reconstruct the history of pathogen invasion. That work, which represents the only detailed analysis of spread rates for P. lateralis, showed that the first successful invasion into the study area took place in 1977 and that 43% of the susceptible host sites (stream crossings) were infested by 1999. In the work presented here, all sites that were uninfested in 1999 were re-censused in 2012, extending the historical reconstruction of P. lateralis spread to 35 years. Two new infestations were initiated between 1999 and 2012, suggesting that the rate of spread of P. lateralis has slowed greatly. Between 1980 and 1989, the average number of new site infestations was 1.8 infestations per year, while between 1990 and 1999 the average was 0.4 infestations per year and between 2000 and 2009 the average was 0.2 infestations per year. Several potential explanations for the reduced number of new infestations are discussed.



Early view Plant Pathology article 4 NOV 2014

Histopathology of infection and colonization of Quercus ilex fine roots by Phytophthora cinnamomi

F. J. Ruiz Gómez, R. M. Navarro-Cerrillo, R. Sánchez-Cuesta and A. Pérez-de-Luque

Article first published online: 4 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/ppa.12310

Quercus ilex is one of the European forest species most susceptible to root rot caused by the oomycete Phytophthora cinnamomi. This disease contributes to holm oak decline, a particularly serious problem in the ‘dehesas’ ecosystem of the southwestern Iberian Peninsula. This work describes the host–pathogen interaction of Q. ilex and P. cinnamomi, using new infection indices at the tissue level. Fine roots of 6-month-old saplings inoculated with P. cinnamomi were examined by light microscopy and a random pool of images was analysed in order to calculate different indices based on the measured area of pathogen structures. In the early stages of invasion, P. cinnamomi colonizes the apoplast and penetrates cortical cells with somatic structures. On reaching the parenchymatous tissues of the central cylinder, the pathogen develops different reproductive and survival structures inside the cells and then expands through the vascular system of the root. Some host responses were identified, such as cell wall thickening, accumulation of phenolic compounds in the middle lamella of sclerenchyma tissues, and mucilage secretion blocking vascular cells. New insights into the behaviour of P. cinnamomi inside fine roots are described. Host responses fail due to rapid expansion of the pathogen and a change in its behaviour from biotrophic to necrotrophic.


Wollemi Pines: Secret plantation in Blue Mountains to ensure species' survival

ABC News, Australia September 2014 by Jessica Kidd

Twenty years ago this month, the Wollemi Pine made headlines around the world when it was discovered in a remote canyon in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

PHOTO: National Parks and Wildlife manager David Crust uses GPS to record the position of each Wollemi
Pine. (ABC News: Jessica Kidd)

Dubbed "a living fossil", the distinctive pines captured the world's attention because it was thought they had been extinct for at least 60 million years.

The Wollemi Pines, which were discovered in 1994, are about 40 metres tall and are hundreds, if not thousands, of years old.

Their trunks are more than a metre in diameter and they have distinctive bark which resembles bubbling chocolate.

But the last two decades have taken their toll on the prehistoric pine and its future is now under threat from a soil-borne pathogen called Phytophthora, which most likely walked in on the boots of uninvited visitors.

David Crust from the National Parks and Wildlife Service has been managing the original site and said the introduction of Phytophthora caused root rot in several of the pines.

"It has impacted on a number of plants and it has caused part of those plants to die back," he said.

"Obviously we're really concerned the Phytophthora could spread throughout the population and start to kill individual plants."

To ensure the species survives, an insurance population of young Wollemi Pines has been planted at another secret location in the Blue Mountains.


Phytophthora diseases in New Zealand forests

New article in New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2014) 59(2): 14–21, Peter Scott and Nari Williams

Abstract This article provides a brief overview of the status of Phytophthora diseases in New Zealand forests. Recent outbreaks of Phytophthora diseases internationally and within these forests, including Red Needle Cast of Pinus radiata caused by Phytophthora pluvialis and Agathis australis (kauri) dieback caused by Phytophthora taxon Agathis (PTA), have highlighted the biosecurity threat these species pose to New Zealand. In isolated cases, Red Needle Cast has impacted P. radiata plantations through the premature defoliation of mature needles. Kauri dieback, caused by Phytophthora taxon Agathis, has resulted in devastating disease within some sites. Preliminary research indicates that both these diseases will respond to treatment with phosphite, consistent with current international Phytophthora management. Ongoing research into Red Needle Cast, Phytophthora taxon Agathis induced kauri dieback and other Phytophthora diseases within P. radiata and kauri is focusing on understanding the epidemiology of the diseases, the chemical and genetic mechanisms of resistance, and also screening for durable resistance to multiple Phytophthora species. Many other Phytophthora pathogens have been identified within New Zealand. These have not been found to cause serious disease in native or exotic forest systems, despite some being known to cause diseases of great consequence internationally. Significant examples include P. cinnamomi, P. multivora and P. kernoviae. As a result of increased global movement of plant material, New Zealand’s and other international forests are vulnerable to new Phytophthora diseases. However, through the world’s best practice adaptive management the threat and impacts of these diseases can be reduced.


Proceedings of the IUFRO 2012 Phytophthora in Forests and Natural Ecosystems meeting now available

Phytophthora in Forests and Natural Ecosystems, Proceedings of the 6th Meeting of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Working Party S07-02-09. September 9-14, 2012, Còrdoba, Spain

The sixth meeting of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Working Party S07.02.09, Phytophthoras in Forests and Natural Ecosystems provided a forum for current research on Phytophthora species worldwide. One-hundred-and-fourty submissions describing papers and posters on recent developments in Phytophthora diseases of trees and natural ecosystems in Europe, Australasia, and the Americas are included. Research topics covered are Phytophthora adaptation and evolution, climate change, diversity, ecology, ecophysiology, epidemiology, experimental taxonomy, geographic origins, invasion and spread, management, the nursery pathway, pathogenesis and resistance, and population biology.