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Keywords:

  • invasive organism;
  • oomycete;
  • ramorum branch dieback;
  • sudden oak death

Susceptibility to branch dieback caused by Phytophthora ramorum was tested using a detached branch assay for 66 Australian native plant species sourced from established gardens and arboreta in California. Six of these species were further tested for their susceptibility to bole cankers caused by P. ramorum using a sealed log assay. Isopogon formosus and Eucalyptus denticulata were identified as potentially highly susceptible Australian branch dieback hosts. Thirteen potentially tolerant Australian host species included Banksia attenuata, B. marginata, E. haemastoma, E. regnans, Pittosporum undulatum and Billardiera heterophylla. Eucalyptus regnans was identified as a potentially highly susceptible bole canker host, while E. diversicolor and E. viminalis were considered potentially tolerant species to bole cankers caused by P. ramorum. Phytophthora ramorum was able to infect all 66 species, as confirmed by reisolation. These results extend the known potential host range for P. ramorum, confirm it as a possible threat to Australian plant industries and ecosystems and highlight additional associated hosts that are important in the global horticultural trade, native forests and plantation forestry.