Australasian Plant Pathology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 86–95

Phosphite concentration: its effect on phytotoxicity symptoms and colonisation by Phytophthora cinnamomi in three understorey species of Eucalyptus marginata forest


  • R. A. Pilbeam
    • A School of Biology and BiotechnologyMurdoch University
  • I. J. Colquhoun
    • Alcoa World Alumina Australia
  • B. Shearer
    • CALMScience, Department of Conservation and Land Management
    • A School of Biology and BiotechnologyMurdoch University

DOI: 10.1071/AP00016

Cite this article as:
Pilbeam, R.A., Colquhoun, I.J., Shearer, B. et al. Australasian Plant Pathology (2000) 29: 86. doi:10.1071/AP00016


Pre-treatment of plants with foliar sprays of 0.2, 0.5 and 2% phosphite restricted colonisation by Phytophthora cinnamomi in inoculated stems of Adenanthos barbiger and Daviesia decurrens, and led to a reduction in the isolation of P. cinnamomi from these stems in comparison with unsprayed plants. In plants treated with 2% phosphite, P. cinnamomi was not isolated from D. decurrens but was isolated from 22% of the stems of A. barbiger. In Xanthorrhoea preissii, colonisation by, and isolation of, P. cinnamomi from inoculated roots was not significantly affected by pre-treatment of the foliage with 0.2, 0.5 and 2% phosphite. Very low concentrations of phosphite were detected in the roots of X. preissii (maximum mean of 2.2 μg/g dry weight), in comparison with the phosphite concentrations measured in the foliage of A. barbiger and D. decurrens plants treated with phosphite (maximum means of 80 and 871 μg/g dry weight, respectively). Treatment with 0.2% phosphite resulted in minimal phytotoxicity in each of the three species, whereas treatment with 2% phosphite led to the development of severe phytotoxicity symptoms. This study indicates that phosphite has potential for the management of P. cinnamomi in native plant communities.

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© Australasian Plant Pathology Society 2000