The genus Phytophthora contains some of the most destructive plant pathogens affecting agricultural and forest crops. Recently a novel species of Phytophthora was discovered almost simultaneously in Germany on rhododendron and azalea and in California on coast live oak and tanoak. Phytophthora ramorum is a devastating exotic pathogen of many forest and nursery crops. It causes several diseases including sudden oak death, Ramorum shoot dieback and Ramorum blight. Phytophthora ramorum has a very wide host range and affects many nursery crop species including viburnum, lilac, maple, and oak, among others. It poses a significant threat to the US nursery industry and forests. Currently we know very little about the biology of P. ramorum.
Our laboratory conducts research on the epidemiology, ecology, population biology and molecular genetics of Phytophthora species with a current emphasis on the sudden oak death pathogen P. ramorum. For more information, please visit our lab site.