Volunteer stream monitoring for invasive Phytophthora species in western Washington
M. ELLIOTT (1), G. Chastagner (1), K. P. Coats (1), A. DeBauw (1), K. Riley (1)
(1) Washington State University, Puyallup Research and Extension Center, Puyallup, WA, U.S.A.
To supplement state agencies in their monitoring for Phytophthora ramorum, the sudden oak death (SOD) pathogen, a community-based stream monitoring program was initiated in 2010. This project expands on the streams currently being sampled by the WA Dept. of Natural Resources (WADNR) as part of the national P. ramorum survey and on nursery surveys by WA State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) to allow for early detection of P. ramorum and other invasive Phytophthora species, as well as examining the biodiversity of Phytophthora spp. in stream ecosystems. This project provided an opportunity to increase public awareness of waterborne plant pathogens and the damage they cause. The baiting process involved placing rhododendron leaves in mesh bags and deploying them in streams for two weeks. After bait retrieval the leaves were cultured on selective media and colonies of Phytophthora isolated onto V8 agar. Phytophthora species were identified using molecular and cultural methods. Several species of Phytophthora and Pythium were identified from stream samples and no P. ramorum was found in 2010. Volunteers included Master Gardeners, high school, community college, university students, and other individuals. Lecture and lab sessions were taught to introduce students to plant pathology, Phytophthora diseases, and laboratory methods. Some students worked on group projects related to Phytophthora in the lab at WSU-Puyallup. The program was expanded in 2011 with more baiting sites and student involvement.
© 2011 by The American
Phytopathological Society. All rights reserved.