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Detection of Phytophthora multivora in the Wollemi Pine site and pathogenicity to Wollemia nobilis

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Phytophthora multivora, a recently described species recovered from declining natural ecosystems in Western Australia, was detected in the natural site of the rare and endangered Wollemi pine in New South Wales. The Phytophthora species was identified based on morphology and sequence analysis of the rDNA ITS and mitochondrial DNA cox1 regions. A pathogenicity trial to test the susceptibility of Wollemi pine to P. multivora resulted in symptoms equal in extent to those caused by P. cinnamomi, a known pathogen of Wollemi pine. Post-trial dry root weight analysis of P. multivora and P. cinnamomi inoculated plants revealed no significant difference between species, as both significantly reduced root mass compared to uninoculated plants. P. multivora was shown to be a pathogen of the Wollemi pine, and the implications on protecting this endangered species in the wild are discussed.

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Funding for this project was provided by The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. We thank all members of the Wollemi Pine Recovery Team, in particular Tony Auld, David Crust, Steve Clarke, Chris Pavich for field and sampling contributions. The first author would also like to thank The University of Sydney Faculty of Agriculture & Environment and The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney for continued support. Zoe-Joy Newby, Ameera Yousiph, Lucas Shuttleworth, Liliana Rocha and Patricia Meagher are gratefully acknowledged and thanked for their advice and support throughout the study. We also thank Julie Bates for technical support and Emma Laurence for preparation of the figures.

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Correspondence to V. I. Puno.

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Puno, V.I., Laurence, M.H., Guest, D.I. et al. Detection of Phytophthora multivora in the Wollemi Pine site and pathogenicity to Wollemia nobilis . Australasian Plant Pathol. 44, 205–215 (2015).

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