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Diagnosis of Phytophthora Ramorum

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Phytophthora ramorum is a serious fungus-like pathogen causing damage to trees and a range of native and ornamental plants in parts of North America where it is commonly known as sudden oak death. In California, it has reached epidemic proportions causing extensive death of mainly tanoaks (Lithocarpus densiflorus), but also true Quercus species such as coast live oak. In spring 2002, P. ramorum was found for the first time in the UK on samples of Viburnum tinus submitted by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate (PHSI) to the Central Science Laboratory (CSL). There have been further findings on a wide range of ornamental hosts, mainly rhododendrons, in the UK and other European countries and a limited number of findings on trees in the UK and the Netherlands since 2003. Statutory action has been taken requiring extensive monitoring of plant material to prevent its introduction or spread. CSL has developed and evaluated a number of diagnostic methods that are described in this article.
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Keywords: LATERAL FLOW DEVICES; NOVEL DIAGNOSTICS; PHYTOPHTHORA RAMORUM; POINT OF INSPECTION; QUARANTINE FUNGAL DISEASE; REAL-TIME PCR; SUDDEN OAK DEATH

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-08-01

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