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Phytophthora ramorum: a threat to Australia?

O'Gara, E., Hüberli, D. and Hardy, G.E.St.J. (2005) Phytophthora ramorum: a threat to Australia? Australasian Plant Conservation, 13 (4). pp. 22-24.

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What makes Phytophihora cinnarnomi such a devastating plant pathogen in the Australian environment?
• It is a microscopic organism that lives in soil and plant roots.
• It can., and has, spread widely in many Australian landscapes through movement of infested soil from one location to another, naturally and by human activities ranging from bushwalking to mining.
• It can reproduce asexually and prolifically when conditions are optimal (warm and moist).
• It infects a very broad range of plants, and the susceptibility of much of Australia’s unique flora indicates that it is exotic in origin.
• Once present in a landscape it cannot be eradicated, although management is possible with commitment from governments, industry and the community.

It’s a fairly grim scenario...but it couldn’t get any worse. . .could it? Unfortunately, it could! Imagine a species of Phytophihora that has all the characteristics of P. cinnamonii, but also has the capacity to be carried by wind-driven rain. Phvtophthora rarnorum is just such a pathogen.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management
Publisher: Australian Network for Plant Conservation Inc.
Copyright: (c) Australian Network for Plant Conservation Inc.
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