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Study reveals extensive P ramorum potential

The invasive fungal pathogen, Phytophthora ramorum, could spread throughout the world, according to a modelling study that estimates global climate suitability patterns for its establishment. The model suggests that the spread of P ramorum in North America and Europe is still in its infancy, with the pathogen presently occupying a small fraction of its potential range. The fungus appears to be climatically suited to large areas of Africa, Australasia and South America, where it could cause biodiversity and economic losses in plant industries and natural ecosystems with susceptible hosts if introduced, the researchers say.

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