Uppsala BioCenter, Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA 17604
Findus R&D AB, Box 530 SE-267 25 Bjuv, Sweden
Agro Plantarum, Kärrarpsvägen 410, SE-265 90 Âstorp, Sweden
A root rot disease of pea and faba bean caused by a Phytophthora sp. was observed in fields and field soil samples in southern Sweden. Observations of the disease in pea root rot greenhouse assays were systematically recorded, and incidence and geographic distribution data were compared with the pea root rot caused by Aphanomyces euteiches. Following one successful isolation of the pathogen, isolation procedures and selective media were optimized to retrieve more isolates. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the isolates belong to a novel lineage, closely related to Phytophthora sojae, and proposed here as a new species, P. pisi sp. nov. In a collection of 13 isolates from separate fields, intraspecific variation was detected in both nuclear and mitochondrial loci. Pathogenicity tests on a range of crop plants and wild legumes suggest that the host range of the pathogen is restricted to a group of legumes closely related to pea which, in addition to pea, include the crop species faba bean, lentil, common vetch, and chickpea. Morphology, growth requirements, and pathogenicity traits indicate that the species may be identical to the organism previously described as P. erythroseptica var. pisi. The work characterizes a novel Phytophthora sp. causing root rot of legume crops.