Emergence of the sudden oak death pathogen Phytophthora ramorum

Niklaus J. Grünwald, Matteo Garbelotto, Erica M. Goss, Kurt Heungens, Simone Prospero
  • Trends in Microbiology, March 2012, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.tim.2011.12.006

Unraveling where the oak killer came from and how it moves around

What is it about?

The sudden oak death pathogen Phytophthora ramorum was first discovered in California killing oaks and in Germany in nurseries on ornamentals. This article tells the story of how this pathogen has moved around the world and emerged repeatedly using forensic and genetic approaches.

Why is it important?

Currently infection by P. ramorum occurs only in Europe and North America and three clonal lineages are distinguished: EU1, NA1 and NA2. Ancient divergence of these lineages supports a scenario in which P. ramorum originated from reproductively isolated populations and underwent at least four global migration events. This recent work sheds new light on mechanisms of emergence of exotic pathogens and provides crucial insights into migration pathways.

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The following have contributed to this page: Niklaus J Grünwald and Niklaus J Grunwald