Phytophthora syringae, P. drechsleri, P. cactarutn, P. cambiuora and P. megasperma were isolated from the roots of red raspberry plants affected by severe root and crown rot with associated cane death. Phytophthora megasperma occurred most frequently and consisted of two types of isolates which differed in colony morphology, growth rates, and oogonial, oospore, sporangial and zoospore size, and pathogenicity to a range of plants. One type with large oospores was typical of P. megasperma var. megasperma, and was non-pathogenic to red raspberries, while the other with smaller oospores and which grew more slowly in culture than the first, was highly pathogenic, producing symptoms similar to those observed in the field. Highly pathogenic isolates from Germany and the USA were of this type.
All red and black raspberry cultivars tested were susceptible to the pathogenic type, although North American cultivars were generally less affected than British ones. Inoculated plants had reduced shoot and root weights, stem lesions and wilted and yellowed leaves. The blackberry × raspberry hybrid Tayberry and its blackberry parent were immune.
Phytophthora drechsleri, P. cactorum and P. cambivora produced small to moderate amounts of root rot on red raspberry, and P. cambivora also caused slight symptoms on shoots.