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Metabarcoding shows multiple Phytophthora species associated with individual plant species: implications for restoration

Gyeltshen, J., Dunstan, W.A., Shaw, C., Howard, K.ORCID: 0000-0003-3977-1243, Grigg, A.H., Hardy, G.E.St.J. and Burgess, T.I.ORCID: 0000-0002-7962-219X (2021) Metabarcoding shows multiple Phytophthora species associated with individual plant species: implications for restoration. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 159 . pp. 359-369.

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Severe tree decline in natural ecosystems around the world has driven Phytophthora research, resulting in a better understanding of the diversity and association of Phytophthora species with different host plants. Improved molecular techniques have contributed significantly to that understanding. The devastating impact of Phytophthora dieback in native vegetation in the southwest of Western Australia (SWWA) has motivated a committed research effort to understand the survival and spread of this pathogen. Hot, dry summers characterise the climate of this ecosystem, and are supposedly unfavourable for a moisture-loving pathogen to survive, spread and thrive. However, Phytophthora cinnamomi can survive within the roots of native plant species allowing for its persistence. Random plant sampling, with metabarcoding from root samples, revealed the presence of at least 23 Phytophthora species on 18 of the 20 plant species growing on mining stockpiles of the Huntly mine site (Alcoa of Australia Limited) in SWWA. Phytophthora cinnamomi was detected on 16 of the 20 plant species. This finding supports the idea that native plant species have a significant role in the survival and spread of P. cinnamomi in the environment. The presence of other Phytophthora species challenges the assumption that P. cinnamomi is the main cause of Phytophthora dieback; the disease may be complex, involving several Phytophthora species. These unexpected detections indicate that plants in the natural forest can serve as the reservoir of inoculum of not only P. cinnamomi but also for other Phytophthora species.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Climate Impacted Terrestrial Ecosystems
Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management
Harry Butler Institute
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright: © 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
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