EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 09 - 2008 Num. article: 2008/186

Situation of Phytophthora kernoviae in New Zealand

In New Zealand, Phytophthora kernoviae (EPPO Alert List) was first reported in 2006 (see EPPO RS 2006/060) from North Island. In 2005, scientists examined laboratory collections of Phytophthora species and they discovered the presence of P. kernoviae. In 2002, a sample of cherimoya (Annona cherimola) material had been submitted by a grower and was initially identified as being infected by a Phytophthora species which was assumed to be already known in New Zealand. However, the use of molecular diagnostic techniques later revealed that it was in fact P. kernoviae. Surveillance and tracing investigations were initiated. Further isolates collected from soil in kauri forests (Agathis australis, Araucariaceae) were examined and P. kernoviae was identified in 1 sample. Interestingly, a thesis published in 1970 and describing a Phytophthora species collected from soil under pine plantations was reassessed because the species description resembled P. kernoviae. Material was collected from the sites sampled in the 1960s (central part of the North Island) and results showed that P. kernoviae was present in many of those sites (Northland, Auckland, Taupo areas). It is concluded that considering the distribution of P. kernoviae in different areas in the North Island and the length of time it has been present in New Zealand, neither eradication nor containment were feasible options.
The situation of Phytophthora kernoviae in New Zealand can be described as follows: Present, first reported in 2006 (but probably present since the 1960s), found in soil samples from North Island (Northland, Auckland, Taupo areas).


Anonymous (2008) Phytophthora kernoviae: Past investigation throws up new answers. Biosecurity 82, March issue, p 21.