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Age-related susceptibility of Eucalyptus species to Phytophthora boodjera

Simamora, A.V., Stukely, M.J.C., Barber, P.A., Hardy, G.E.St.J. and Burgess, T.I.ORCID: 0000-0002-7962-219X (2017) Age-related susceptibility of Eucalyptus species to Phytophthora boodjera. Plant Pathology, 66 (3). pp. 501-512.

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Phytophthora boodjera is a newly described pathogen causing damping off and mortality of Eucalyptus seedlings in Western Australian nurseries. This study evaluated the age-related susceptibility of several taxa of mallee Eucalyptus to P. boodjera in sterilized washed river sand-infestation pot trials. Phytophthora cinnamomi and P. arenaria were included for comparison. Seedlings of Eucalyptus taxa were inoculated at 0, 2, 4, 12 and 88 weeks with individual Phytophthora isolates. Pre-emergent mortality in the presence of Phytophthora was almost 100%. Post-emergent mortality was 50-100%, depending on isolate, compared to 0% for the control. Mortality was also high for inoculated 1 month-old seedlings (46-68%) and root length of surviving seedlings was severely reduced. Death from root infection was not observed for seedlings inoculated at 12 and 88 weeks, but they developed root necrosis and reduced root dry weight compared to non-inoculated controls. Phytophthora boodjera is a pre- and post-emergent pathogen of mallee eucalypts. These eucalypts are susceptible to P. boodjera at all life stages tested, but the mortality rates declined with plant age. Similar results were obtained for P. cinnamomi and P. arenaria. The events leading to its recent appearance in the nurseries remain unknown and further investigations are underway to determine if this is an introduced or endemic pathogen. The approach used here to understand the impact of a Phytophthora species on multiple hosts at different seedling ages is novel and sets a benchmark for future work.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Copyright: © 2016 British Society for Plant Pathology.
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