, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 19-25

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

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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.

Presented as a Keynote Address at the 16th Biennial Conference of the Australasian Plant Pathology Society, 24–27 September 2007, Adelaide