Multiple alien Phytophthora taxa discovered on diseased ornamental plants in Spain

E. Moralejo, A. M. Pérez-Sierra, L. A. Álvarez, L. Belbahri, F. Lefort, E. Descals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


The plant trade is unwittingly accelerating the worldwide spread of well-known and new or undescribed Phytophthora species and creating novel niches for emerging pathogens. The results of a survey carried out from 2001 to 2006 in garden centres and nurseries of the Balearic Islands and eastern Spain combined with the analysis of samples received from ornamental nurseries from northern Spain reflected the extent of this global issue at the local scale. A total of 125 Phytophthora isolates were obtained from 37 different host species and 17 putative species identified on morphological features and direct sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer and four mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Five species, P. ramorum, P. hedraiandra, P. 'niederhauserii', P. 'kelmania' and P. 'taxon Pgchlamydo' were formally unknown to science prior to 2001. In addition, 37 new host/pathogen combinations were first records for Spain, highlighting the risk of non-coevolved organisms from different biogeographic origins coming into contact under managed environments. The problem generated by new or rare taxa of Phytophthora found in nurseries for which no prior information on natural habitat and ecology is available for pest risk analysis is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-110
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • International plant trade
  • Invasive alien species
  • Ornamental plant diseases
  • Pathogenicity
  • Phytophthora taxonomy


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