Composting is an effective treatment option for sanitization of Phytophthora ramorum-infected plant material.


Journal Article

AIMS: To determine the effects of heat and composting treatments on the viability of the plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum grown on both artificial and various natural substrates. METHODS AND RESULTS: Phytophthora ramorum was grown on V8 agar, inoculated on bay laurel leaves (Umbellularia californica) and on woody tissues of coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia). Effects on growth, viability and survival were measured as a result of treatment in ovens and compost piles. Direct plating onto PARP medium and pear-baiting techniques were used to determine post-treatment viability. No P. ramorum was recovered at the end of the composting process, regardless of the isolation technique used. By using a PCR assay designed to detect the DNA of P. ramorum, we were able to conclude the pathogen was absent from mature compost and not merely suppressed or dormant. CONCLUSIONS: Some heat and composting treatments eliminate P. ramorum to lower than detectable levels on all substrates tested. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: Composting is an effective treatment option for sanitization of P. ramorum-infected plant material. Assaying for pathogen viability in compost requires a direct test capable of differentiating between pathogen suppression and pathogen elimination.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Swain, S; Harnik, T; Mejia-Chang, M; Hayden, K; Bakx, W; Creque, J; Garbelotto, M

Published Date

  • October 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 101 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 815 - 827

PubMed ID

  • 16968293

Pubmed Central ID

  • 16968293

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1365-2672

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1364-5072

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2006.03008.x


  • eng