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Australasia is at high risk of a Phytophthora ramorum epidemic

Hüberli, D., Ireland, K., Smith, I., Dell, B., Ormsby, M., Rizzo, D., Garbelotto, M. and Hardy, G.E.St.J. (2009) Australasia is at high risk of a Phytophthora ramorum epidemic. In: Phytophthoras in Forests and Natural Ecosystems Fourth Meeting of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Working Party S07.02.09, 26 – 31 August, 2007, Monterey, California pp. 184-187.

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Australasia to identify emerging plant diseases, carriers of these diseases, and the role of hosts in the transmission of disease. In Australia, a cause for concern and currently listed as a category 1 emergency pest pathogen is Phytophthora ramorum. It has a wide host range and causes widespread damage in nurseries and private estates across Europe and is devastating coastal forest ecosystems of western USA, mainly in California (Rizzo and others 2002, Werres and others 2001).

Several Australasian plant species, including Griselinia littoralis (New Zealand broadleaf), Eucalyptus haemastoma (Australian scribbly gum), and Pittosporum undulatum (Victorian box), have already been listed as natural hosts of P. ramorum based on field observations and pathogenicity tests in the USA and Europe (Hüberli and others 2006, RAPRA 2007). While P. ramorum has not been detected in New Zealand or Australia, a preliminary study has identified ecosystems that could be conducive to disease development in Australia (W. Smith unpublished data). It is a pathogen that the region cannot afford as the threat and management implications of this pathogen on natural ecosystems, agriculture and horticulture may potentially be far worse than that currently posed by P. cinnamomi (O’Gara and others 2005).

The study aims to provide knowledge of potential hosts and therefore carriers of the pathogen, provide data for the establishment of robust quarantine practices and reduce the risk of an introduction of P. ramorum into Australasia.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management
Publisher: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
Notes: Proceedings of the Fourth Meeting International IUFRO Working Party S07.02.09: Phytophthoras in Forests and Natural Ecosystems, 26-21 August 2007, Monterey, California, U.S. Tech. coords. E.M. Goheen & S.J. Frankel. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-221. US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Southwest Research Station, Albany, California.
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