Warning: The information in this archived item was not confirmed with the appropriate National Plant Protection Organization and is provided solely for informational purposes. Please use this information with caution.

Subject: Causal agent of sudden oak death now has a complete scientific name
Date posted: August 01, 2001
Source: USDA Forest Service

Until very recently, the fungus responsible for a tree disease known as sudden oak death, did not have a scientific species name and was known among scientists as Phytophthora sp. only. In a publication recently accepted by the journal Mycological Research, Sabine Werres and co-authors formally describe this new Phytophthora fungus and name it Phytophthora ramorum. The species name, ramorum, is derived from the Latin word "ramus" (branch) and refers to the pathogen's tendency to infect twigs and branches. Reference:
Werres, S. et al. Phytophthora ramorum sp. nov., a new pathogen on Rhododendron and Viburnum. Mycological Research (in press). A pest alert for the fungus is also avilable on this website.