Comparison of sapwood invasion by three Phytophthora spp.in different hosts
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Many Phytophthora spp. have recently been isolated from native vegetation in Western Australia. As their pathogenicity is often unknown, it is not possible to provide advice to land managers on the impact of site infestation on native plants and how these infestations should be managed. We describe a rapid screening method based on sapwood invasion that has been used to compare the pathogenicity of Phytophthora arenaria, P. cinnamomi and P. multivora. Radial invasion into the xylem of six banksias and three eucalypts was assessed in an excised branch assay in summer and winter. Branches were wound inoculated and invasion was assessed by plating from a strip of tissue cut across the stem at the inoculation point and at 40 mm above and below. A symptomless infection had established in both the bark and sapwood within 6 days. P. arenaria was only isolated from the strip of tissue at the inoculation point. P. cinnamomi was isolated from the sapwood of Banksia attenuata, B. burdettii, B. menziesii and B. speciosa 40 mm above or below the inoculation point in some experiments. P. multivora was isolated from B. speciosa 40 mm below the inoculation point in one experiment. Hyphae of both species were seen in both ray parenchyma cells and xylem vessels. The invasiveness of the Phytophthora spp. was compared on the two groups of hosts using scores for sapwood invasion at the inoculation point. For banksias, P. cinnamomi and P. multivora had significantly higher invasion scores on banksias than P. arenaria but were not significantly different to one another. There was no significant difference between the three Phytophthora spp. on the eucalypt hosts. Assessing sapwood invasion provides a rapid, inexpensive and biologically meaningful way of screening the many Phytophthora spp. that have been isolated from native vegetation.
The final publication is available at Springer via http://doi.org/10.1007/s13313-014-0287-6
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