Keynote Address

Australasian Plant Pathology

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 19-25

First online:

Sudden oak death and Phytophthora ramorum in the USA: a management challenge

  • Susan J. FrankelAffiliated withPacific Southwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service Email author 

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Oaks and tanoaks in California and Oregon coastal forests are being ravaged by sudden oak death. The exotic causal agent, Phytophthora ramorum, is an oomycete in the Straminipile group, a relative of diatoms and algae. P. ramorum also infects many popular horticultural plants (i.e. camellia and rhododendron), causing ramorum blight, with symptoms expressed as leaf spots, twig blight and shoot dieback. P. ramorum has raised important biosecurity issues, which continue to reverberate through the agriculture, forestry and horticulture industries as well as associated government management, regulatory and scientific agencies. The continued spread of this and other new Phytophthora spp. presents significant impetus for adjustments in the management and regulation of forest pathogens and nursery stock.