Pacific Conservation Biology Pacific Conservation Biology Society
A journal dedicated to conservation and wildlife management in the Pacific region.
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Distribution and diversity of Phytophthora across Australia

Treena I. Burgess A M , Diane White A , Keith M. McDougall B , Jeff Garnas C , William A. Dunstan A , Santiago Català D , Angus J. Carnegie E , Stuart Worboys F , David Cahill G , Anna-Maria Vettraino H , Michael J. C. Stukely I , Edward C. Y. Liew J , Trudy Paap A C , Tanay Bose C , Duccio Migliorini C , Briony Williams A , Frances Brigg K , Colin Crane I , Timothy Rudman L and Giles E. St. J. Hardy A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, WA 6150, Australia.

B Department of Ecology, Environment and Evolution, La Trobe University, PO Box 821, Wodonga, Vic. 3689, Australia.

C Forestry and Agriculture Biotechnology Institute, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa.

D Instituto Agroforestal Mediterráneo, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, 46100, Spain.

E NSW Forest Science, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Parramatta, NSW 2150, Australia.

F Australian Tropical Herbarium, James Cook University Cairns Campus, Macgregor Road, Smithfield, Qld 4870 Australia.

G Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment Research, Deakin University, Locked Bag 20000, Geelong, Vic. 3220, Australia.

H Department of Innovation in Biological Systems, Food and Forestry (DIBAF), University of Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy.

I Forest and Ecosystem Management, Parks and Wildlife, 17 Dick Perry Avenue, Kensington, WA 6151, Australia.

J Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia.

K State Agriculture and Biotechnology Institute, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, WA 6150, Australia.

L Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Hobart, Tas. 7000, Australia.

M Corresponding author. Email: tburgess@murdoch.edu.au

Pacific Conservation Biology 23(2) 150-162 https://doi.org/10.1071/PC16032
Submitted: 19 August 2016  Accepted: 12 December 2016   Published: 13 January 2017

Abstract

The introduction and subsequent impact of Phytophthora cinnamomi within native vegetation is one of the major conservation issues for biodiversity in Australia. Recently, many new Phytophthora species have been described from Australia’s native ecosystems; however, their distribution, origin, and potential impact remain unknown. Historical bias in Phytophthora detection has been towards sites showing symptoms of disease, and traditional isolation methods show variable effectiveness of detecting different Phytophthora species. However, we now have at our disposal new techniques based on the sampling of environmental DNA and metabarcoding through the use of high-throughput sequencing. Here, we report on the diversity and distribution of Phytophthora in Australia using metabarcoding of 640 soil samples and we compare the diversity detected using this technique with that available in curated databases. Phytophthora was detected in 65% of sites, and phylogenetic analysis revealed 68 distinct Phytophthora phylotypes. Of these, 21 were identified as potentially unique taxa and 25 were new detections in natural areas and/or new introductions to Australia. There are 66 Phytophthora taxa listed in Australian databases, 43 of which were also detected in this metabarcoding study. This study revealed high Phytophthora richness within native vegetation and the additional records provide a valuable baseline resource for future studies. Many of the Phytophthora species now uncovered in Australia’s native ecosystems are newly described and until more is known we need to be cautious with regard to the spread and conservation management of these new species in Australia’s unique ecosystems.

Additional Keywords: amplicon pyrosequencing, eDNA, high-throughput sequencing, invasive species.


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