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Micropropagation of plant taxa at risk from Phytophthora ramorum (support for successful EU social fund bid from Duchy College) - PH0408

The gardens of Cornwall contain ancient and rare species of Rhododendron and Camellia that are under threat from the pathogen Phytophthora ramorum. Statutory notices served due to the presence of P. ramorum may lead to the destruction of infected material. Due to the rarity of the material under threat of eradication there is a pressing need to implement measures that conserve these important lines. Conventional methods of propagation as has been found in our laboratory are an unsuitable method of propagation for such ancient plants. Micropropagation is however a viable alternative technique and one that will be used to generate new planting material. We are seeking to conserve this material by the generation of 50 - 200 propagules for each ancient plant line. This is therefore a responsive and relatively small-scale operation compared with commercial ventures but serves as crucial link between technique development and the conservation of material that would probably otherwise be lost to Phytophthora ramorum infection.
Objective 01: To generate Phytophthora ramorum pathogen free material that can be safely released into the environment.

Objective 02: The quantify the effects of nutrient deficit at selected stages of development on root and shoot growth.

Objective 03 To explore the conservation by micropropagation of genera other than Rhododendron under threat from Phytophthora spp. infection.

Objective 04 To evaluate the performance of cloned rhododendron material on return to original habitat location.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Plant Health Final Research Report   (468k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2005

To: 2009

Cost: £21,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Duchy College
Plant diseases              
Plant health              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Plant Health