EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 01 - 2009 Num. article: 2009/008

‘Molecular tool box’ for the identification of fifteen Phytophthora species

A PCR-based ‘molecular tool box’ has been developed to identify the following 15 Phytophthora species which occur in forest and other natural ecosystems: P. cactorum, P. cambivora, P. cinnamomi, P. citricola, P. europaea, P. ilicis, P. inundata, P. kernoviae (EPPO Alert List), P. lateralis (EPPO A1 List), P. megasperma, P. nemorosa, P. pseudosyringae, P. psychrophila, P. quercina (formerly EPPO Alert List), P. ramorum (EPPO Alert List). It was not possible to include P. alni (formerly EPPO Alert List) in this study because of its complex genetics. All primers were developed around a fragment of the Ypt1 gene. This new molecular method enabled the detection of all 15 Phytophthora species in leaf, soil and water samples. However, for soil and water samples nested PCR tests were necessary due to the low concentrations of Phytophthora in these types of samples. It is concluded that this new ‘molecular tool box’ is a useful method for detailed surveys of Phytophthora species in a variety of habitats and that more species could be included in the future. Finally, it is noted that P. ramorum and P. kernoviae were detected in a number of naturally infected leaves collected in England and Wales.


Schena L, Duncan JM, Cooke DEL (2008) Development and application of a PCR-based ‘molecular tool box’ for the identification of Phytophthora species damaging forests and natural ecosystems. Plant Pathology 57(1), 64-75.