Phytophthora spp. cause major losses in the nursery industry worldwide. However, a clear demonstration of the route of movement has not been previously shown. A survey of 10 Maryland nurseries was conducted over a 3-year period to investigate the presence of Phytophthora spp. on newly arrived plants, mainly from West Coast suppliers. Local nursery plants, irrigation water, and potting media were also sampled for Phytophthora spp. Isolates were identified using a combination of morphological characteristics and DNA sequencing. Species identified included Phytophthora cactorum, P. cambivora, P. cinnamomi, P. citrophthora, P. drechsleri, P. elongata, P. gonapodyides, P. hydropathica, P. irrigata, P. lacustris, P. multivora, P. nicotianae, P. pini, P. plurivora, and P. syringae. P. taxon pgchlamydo was also isolated from irrigation water. Eight of the abovementioned Phytophthora spp. were isolated in association with incoming material, indicating that the movement of these pathogens continues to occur. Asymptomatic plant material was the main route of introduction of Phytophthora spp. to Maryland nurseries. Results also indicated that several Phytophthora spp. could be found in Maryland nurseries in association with infested potting media of asymptomatic plants. Although P. ramorum was not detected, our surveys underscore the significance of nursery practices that allow introductions of these significant plant pathogens to new geographic locations.
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