Centre for Phytophthora Science & Management (CPSM)

News and Events

L to R: Bill Dunstan, Diane White, Rajah Belhaj , Treena Burgess, Eman Bearkat, Jamba Gyeltshen, Sarah Sapsford, Emma Steel, Giles Hardy, Kirsty BaylissFive CPSM students complete their PhD

We congratulate the Drs Sapsford, Steel, Belhaj, Gyeltshen and Barkat who were all awarded their PhD’s in the September graduation ceremony. The CPSM wishes them great success in their future endeavours.

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Golden Gecko Awards for Environmental Excellence Merit Award

At last night’s Golden Gecko Awards for Environmental Excellence supported by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, a certificate of merit was awarded to the Alcoa and Murdoch University partnership for the project ‘Eradication of the  Biological Bulldozer Phytophthora Dieback’.

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marri shootsField survey, isolation, identification and pathogenicity of Phytophthora species associated with marri

Louise Croeser is in the final stages of her PhD with the CPSM. She has recently had her first paper published in Forest Pathology. Dieback due to root death and cankers is often caused by Phytophthora, and there are many examples globally.

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potential contamination sourcesToward understanding the pathogenicity of newly described Phytophthora species in Western Australia

Agnes Simamora completed her PhD with the CPSM in 2017. The final paper from her PhD thesis has now been published. Phytophthora species have the potential to infect horticultural, forestry and native plants. The most effective and economical way to control the spread of these pathogens is good hygiene practice in the nursery...

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seedlingsToward understanding the pathogenicity of newly described Phytophthora species in Western Australia

Our newly graduated PhD student Rajah Belhaj has recently had a paper published in the journal Plant Pathology. We have a lot of information of the susceptibility of flora in the Southwest of Western Australia to the dieback pathogen, Phytophthora cinnamomi. However, very little is known about the pathogenicity of a suite of newly described Phytophthora species...

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IUFRO 2017 Meeting logoAssociate Professor Treena Burgess awarded Fellow of APPS

At the recent Australian Plant Pathology Society (APPS) Conference Associate Professor Treena Burgess was awarded Fellow of APPS for her contribution to the biology, ecology and genetics of beneficial and detrimental microorganisms in natural ecosystems, plantation forestry and horticulture wioth a focus on biodiversity and biodiversity issues.



Exploring fungal biodiversity in eastern Australia

Last week Professor Giles and Associate Professor Treena Burgess were off taking samples along the East Coast of Australia comparing pathogens of Myrtaceae and Proteaceae between Australia and South Africa. The project is in Collaboration with Professor Mike Wingfield (FABI) and Professor Pedro Crous (CBS). Read more about the project and the partnership below.

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Associate Professor Treena BurgessAssociate Professor Treena Burgess speaks about pathogen movement and disease epidemics in a BioScience Podcast

In an episode of BioScience Talks, Associate Professor Treena Burgess, (who also holds an adjunct appointment with the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute at the University of Pretoria in South Africa), speaks about her recent article in BioScience, co-written with Michael Wingfield.

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A dieback infected forestWorld-first WA model tips deadly plant pathogen to spread globally [by Lisa Morrison]

ONE of the world’s worst plant pathogens could occur across more of Australia and the globe in the future, climate modelling by Perth scientists suggests. The world's first map of current and projected distribution of Phytophthora cinnamomi, commonly known as dieback, was developed by Murdoch University researchers. The soil-borne fungus thrives in warm, moist conditions and kills susceptible plants by preventing water and nutrient absorption. The destructive pathogen is widespread throughout the world, with south-west WA one of the worst affected areas.

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Figure of pathogen projectionModelling suggests destructive plant pathogen spreading globally

Murdoch University researchers have developed a model which shows the devastating plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi could be distributed more widely in Australia around the globe than previously thought. The methods used to develop and test the model have also shown for the first time that P. cinnamomi occurs at higher elevations in eastern Australia and central Tasmania.

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Sue PederickCPSM welcomes SARDI disease diagnostician, Sue Pederick

The CPSM recently hosted Sue Pederick, a plant disease diagnostician from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI). SARDI is South Australia’s principal research institute, and has provided stakeholders with innovative, world-leading research and development solutions for more than 20 years.

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Marri cankerA thirteen-year study on the impact of a severe canker disease of Corymbia calophylla, a keystone tree in Mediterranean-type forests

Trudy Paap and the State Centre of Excellence for Climate Change Woodland and Forest Health have published a paper describing the impact of canker on marri trees in southwest Western Australia. This study examined the incidence and progression of a canker disease of marri (Corymbia calophylla) caused by the endemic fungal pathogen Quambalaria coyrecup at three paired forest and anthropogenically disturbed sites over 13 years.

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NZ conferenceMarri research presented at New Zealand Conference

Sarah Sapsford is currently undertaking a PhD at Murdoch and working with the CPSM. Her project is focused on the decline of Marri in Western Australia due to a canker disease. Sarah recently attended the Scientific Meeting of the Australasian Mycological Society with the Fungal Network of New Zealand.

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