Phytophthora bilorbang sp. nov., a new species associated with the decline of Rubus anglocandicans (European blackberry) in Western Australia.
A new homothallic Phytophthora species, isolated from rhizosphere soil and roots of declining or dead Rubus anglocandicans (European blackberry) in south-west Western Australia, is described as Phytophthora bilorbang sp. nov. It produces non-papillate sporangia, smooth-walled oogonia containing thick-walled oospores, and paragynous antheridia. Although morphologically similar to several species within ITS Clade 6 and sub-clade II, namely P. gibbosa, P. gregata and P. megasperma, phylogenetic analyses of the ITS, cox1, HSP90, BT and NADH gene regions demonstrate that P. bilorbang sp. nov. is a distinct species. Additionally, P. bilorbang differs from these species in its growth and colony morphology on several media. Pathogenicity tests indicate that P. bilorbang could be responsible for the decline syndrome of blackberry within the Warren and Donnelly River catchments in the south-west of Western Australia.