The Genus Phytophthora Anno 2012
- Laurens P. N. M. Kroon
- Henk Brouwer
- Arthur W. A. M. de Cock
- Francine Govers
Plant diseases caused by Phytophthora species will remain an ever increasing threat to agriculture and natural ecosystems. Phytophthora literally means plant destroyer, a name coined in the 19th century by Anton de Bary when he investigated the potato disease that set the stage for the Great Irish Famine. Phytophthora infestans, the causal agent of potato late blight, was the first species in a genus that at present has over 100 recognized members. In the last decade, the number of recognized Phytophthora species has nearly doubled and new species are added almost on a monthly basis. Here we present an overview of the 10 clades that are currently distinguished within the genus Phytophthora with special emphasis on new species that have been described since 1996 when Erwin and Ribeiro published the valuable monograph ‘Phytophthora diseases worldwide’ (35).