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Eradication and containment of Phytophthora cinnamomi from natural ecosystems

Hardy, G.E.S.J., Paap, T., Williams, N., Scott, P., Shearer, B., Dunne, C., Hartley, R., Rudman, T. and Dunstan, W. (2011) Eradication and containment of Phytophthora cinnamomi from natural ecosystems. In: Asian Association of Societies for Plant Pathology (AASPP) and the Australasian Plant Pathology Society Conference, 26 - 29 April, Darwin, Australia.

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We have developed protocols to contain and eradicate spot infestations of P. cinnamomi. The strategy is based on two assumptions: In the absence of living hosts, P. cinnamomi is a weak saprotroph, and at many sites transmission is probably by root‐to‐root contact and not by propagule movement through soil water. At two P. cinnamomi infested sites, within scrub‐heath in south‐western Australia and woodland in Tasmania, we applied a succession of treatments that included (1) vegetation (host) destruction, (2) fungicides, (3) fumigation, and (4) physical root barriers. Phytophthora cinnamomi was never recovered at any of three assessments up to 24 months after treatments. Given the high rates of recovery of P. cinnamomi from untreated infested soil and the sampling effort, the probability that we failed to detect the pathogen in treated soil was low to very low. This study demonstrates for the first time that P. cinnamomi can be eradicated from natural ecosystems. The methods have application in the containment of large infestations of P. cinnamomi, and we are now looking at applying the methods over large areas. These will be discussed.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Notes: Oral presentation
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