Relative susceptibility of oaks to seven species of Phytophthora isolated from oak forest soils

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Isolates of Phytophthora cambivora, P. cinnamomi, P. citricola, P. europaea, P. quercetorum and two unidentified species were tested for their pathogenicity to eastern US oak species by root and stem inoculations. Experiments were conducted during two different periods and included 1-, 2- and 20-year-old oaks grown under greenhouse and field conditions. Species of Phytophthora were pathogenic in varying degrees to the oak species tested. All species were pathogenic to fine and taproots of at least one oak species. The fine root damage caused by the species of Phytophthora ranged from 9 to 55% when compared to the controls. Roots were more susceptible during the fall inoculation period than the summer. With exception of Phytophthora sp1 and P. quercina-like, all species of Phytophthora were pathogenic to oak stems with P. cinnamomi and P. citricola being the most aggressive. Quercus montana and Q. rubra were the most susceptible oak species to stem inoculation. Lesion sizes were considerably larger when 20-year-old trees were inoculated. Generally, no significant differences in lesion sizes were detected in greenhouse tests when the summer and fall inoculation periods were compared. However, on 2-year-old field-grown seedlings, lesion sizes were considerably smaller or not significantly different from controls during the fall inoculation period, suggesting lower, late season temperatures may restrict lesion development.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA; 2: USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Morgantown, WV, USA;

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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