Monday, March 27, 2006

Full Fungal Assault

The UK got it, now New Zealand's got it...Scoop has a press release from Biosecurity NZ that says Phytophthora kernoviae has been found on custard apple plants (Annona chrysophylla) in Northland. The pathogen (technically a water mold, not a fungus) was also found in soil samples taken from a second site. Since P. kernoviae has been shown to damage a variety of ornamental plant species, this is not good news for NZ.

UK scientists discovered the pathogen in 2003 while doing surveys for a related species, P. ramorum (sudden oak death or ramorum blight). Some of you may remember that the US had its own crisis with P. ramorum back in 2004.

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