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Pathways Of Movement Of Sudden Oak Death Pathogen Described

Date:
October 2, 2009
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
The pathogen that causes sudden oak death disease in California has a different genetic fingerprint than fungal strains found in nurseries in Oregon and Washington, according to scientists. This discovery will allow scientists to distinguish infections in other states as likely having originated from either California or the Pacific Northwest.

ARS scientists have found that the strain of Phytopthora ramorum, the pathogen that causes sudden oak disease, found in California has a different genetic fingerprint than fungal strains found in Oregon and Washington.

The pathogen that causes sudden oak death disease in California has a different genetic fingerprint than fungal strains found in nurseries in Oregon and Washington, according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. This discovery, published in the journal PLoS Pathogens, will allow scientists to distinguish infections in other states as likely having originated from either California or the Pacific Northwest.

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Sudden oak death is responsible for the rapid death of live oak and tanoak trees in coastal California forests and in urban and suburban landscapes in the San Francisco Bay area. It is feared that it could spread to other vulnerable forests in the Eastern United States.

The pathogen Phytophthora ramorum affects not only oak and tanoak trees, but also popular ornamental plants such as rhododendrons, viburnums and camellias. Movement of infected plants from one location to another can contribute to the spread of the disease.

Plant pathologist Nik Grunwald, at the ARS Horticultural Crops Research Unit in Corvallis, Ore., has been working on this project for the past four years. He and his research team examined samples of the pathogen collected from nurseries on the West Coast of the United States and across the country.

The researchers were able to show that the pathogen from California is different from isolates found in the Northwest. Grunwald and colleagues compared his results to records compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on known shipments of infected plants, and these two sources of data were consistent with each other. The results could help scientists and the nursery industry in tracking the movement of this pathogen around the country and the world.


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The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Pathways Of Movement Of Sudden Oak Death Pathogen Described." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002105359.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2009, October 2). Pathways Of Movement Of Sudden Oak Death Pathogen Described. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002105359.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Pathways Of Movement Of Sudden Oak Death Pathogen Described." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002105359.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

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