Centre for Phytophthora Science & Management (CPSM)

News and Events - Archive

Bill DunstanCPSM study provides an overview of the Phytophthora species found in natural ecosystems in Victoria

Recently many new Phytophthora pathogens have been identified from natural ecosystems and little is known about the diversity and distribution of these species in Australia’s various plant communities. We sampled plant communities, streams and wetlands along the 70km easement for the Goulburn River-Sugarloaf Reservoir pipeline in central Victoria, a major water infrastructure project. Thirteen Phytophthora species were recovered.

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Agnes SimamoraNew Phytophthora boodjera responsible for plant deaths in the Western Australian nursery industry and urban tree plantings.

In 2011, an outbreak of a damping-off disease had surfaced in a Western Australian nursery which indicated the presence of a new Phytophthora species. Despite subscribing to the NIASA industry hygiene standards, disease outbreaks continued. This was cause for concern as the plants grown at the nursery were intended for environmental plantings. Despite using chlorine (calcium hypochlorite) solution or dry heat to sterilise used containers, the disease continued to kill seedlings.

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Fishing for Phytophthora and hybrids

Fishing for Phytophthora in waterways in Western Australia has revealed a Phytophthora community that is very different to that from the soil.  It is dominated by Clade 6 Phytophthora species, a group of uncertain pathogenicity thought to be associated with the breakdown of fresh litter....[ read more ]

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Role of Phytophthora in Blackberry decline

Dr Sonia Aghighi has recently completed her PhD on the role of Phytophthora in the decline of blackberries observed along the Warren River In the south-west of western Australia. Blackberry is a serious invasive species in Australia and one of the original 20 “Weeds of National Significance” and a major weed of conservation, forestry, and agriculture, particularly in wetter areas....[ read more ]

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New species descriptions

Until 2009, the all Phytophthora species associated with natural ecosystems in Australia were known alien invasives and their identification had been based on morphological comparisons to known species (there are limited morphological features and the same features can be shared by several species).  However, in the past 20 years molecular taxonomy has revolutionised studies into microscopic organisms....[ read more ]

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Phytophthora multivora; an emerging pathogen

Phytophthora multivora was the first Phytophthora species to be described from natural ecosystems in Australia where it had previously been misidentified as P. citricola. Phytophthora  multivora is widespread in south-west of Western Australia, with a wider geographical range than the introduced P. cinnamomi and it is also active in calcareous soils where P. cinnamomi is not...[ read more ]

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Management of Phytophthora cinnamomi

The main focus of research within the CPSM has always been on the management of P. cinnamomi. Over the years there has been extensive work on the use of phosphite as a management tool and this research continues to today. This research eventually led to projects demonstrating that containment and eradication of P. cinnamomi is possible...[ read more ]

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oldest plantDieback researchers converge on Albany

Last month’s inaugural South Coast Phytophthora Dieback Information Forum heard from a variety of scientists including Murdoch University’s Centre of Phytophthora Science and Management director Treena Burgess. CPSM researchers are considered world leaders in analysing pathogens found in plants and water, including the deadly soil fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi (dieback).

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oldest plantWild Australia: Can the world's oldest plant be saved?

BLINDFOLDED and disoriented, all sense of direction is lost as our helicopter corkscrews into the sky on the windswept extremity of Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed South West Wilderness area. Our boots have been disinfected, clothes and bags vacuumed clean of seeds and soil, and we have signed a legally binding agreement not to disclose our final ­destination. It is an elaborate routine ­necessary to protect the last remaining stand of the 43,000 year-old king’s holly, or Lomatia tasmanica - the world’s oldest living plant...

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The XII Annual Conference of the Dieback Information Group (DIG) (2013)

DIG Conference

The annual DIG conference brings together industry, community and government to share new information regarding the understanding , management and treatment of the plant disease Phytophthora Dieback .


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