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Field survey, isolation, identification and pathogenicity of Phytophthora species associated with a Mediterranean-type tree species

Croeser, L., Paap, T., Calver, M.C.ORCID: 0000-0001-9082-2902, Andrew, M.E., Hardy, G.E.St.J. and Burgess, T.I.ORCID: 0000-0002-7962-219X (2018) Field survey, isolation, identification and pathogenicity of Phytophthora species associated with a Mediterranean-type tree species. Forest Pathology, 48 (3).

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Corymbia calophylla (marri), a keystone tree species in the global biodiversity hot spot of southwestern Australia, is suffering decline and mortality associated with a canker disease caused by the endemic fungus Quambalaria coyrecup. Phytophthora species are frequently isolated from the rhizosphere of C. calophylla, and a hypothesis is that Phytophthora root infection is predisposing C. calophylla to this endemic canker pathogen. Field surveys were conducted in both anthropogenically disturbed and undisturbed C. calophylla stands, from where a total of 100 rhizosphere soil samples, from both healthy and cankered trees, were collected. Phytophthora species were isolated from 26% of the samples collected, with Phytophthora incidence significantly higher on disturbed stands than in natural forests (73% and 27%, respectively). Five Phytophthora species were recovered, including P. cinnamomi, P. elongata, P. multivora, P. pseudocryptogea and P. versiformis. Under-bark inoculations with the Phytophthora isolates caused significant lesion lengths in excised C. calophylla stems. Corymbia calophylla response to pot infestation trials in the glasshouse varied between Phytophthora species and isolates, with isolates of P. cinnamomi and P. multivora causing a significant reduction in seedling root volume and often leading to seedling death. This study demonstrates that root disease caused by Phytophthora species, especially P. cinnamomi and P. multivora, has the ability to adversely affect C. calophylla health. This study leads the way to do a dual inoculation trial with the canker pathogen Q. coyrecup, and different Phytophthora species to investigate if Phytophthora root infection predisposes C. calophylla to this canker disease.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Copyright: © 2018 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
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