Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae are two pathogens which in Scotland so far affect mainly hardy ornamental plants like Rhododendron, Viburnum or Magnolia in nurseries and gardens.

Both pathogens have also the potential to cause serious damage to our natural wood- and heathland and are therefore subject of official control and eradication measures. SASA is collaborator in a multidisciplinary research project funded by the Scottish Government combining field studies of selected outbreak sites, modelling of expected disease progress and molecular characterisation of pathogen strains. The aim is to increase our knowledge about disease establishment, spread, risks and impact under Scottish climate and conditions to support official disease management.

Left to right: Simultaneous infection of Rhododendron with Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae; Oospore of Phytophthora kernoviae; Soil sampling at Phytophthora kernoviae outbreak site.