Phytophthora nicotianae diseases worldwide: new knowledge of a long-recognised pathogen
Phytophthora nicotianae was first isolated from tobacco at the end of the 19th century. This organism is now considered as one of the most devastating oomycete plant pathogens, with a recognized host range of more than 255 species over five continents and a wide diversity of climates. The economic losses caused by P. nicotianae are difficult to estimate, because of the diversity of its hosts and ecological niches. For these reasons, this pathogen represents a continuous challenge to plant disease management programmes, which frequently rely solely on the use of chemicals. Phytophthora nicotianae is better adapted than its competitors to abiotic stresses, especially to climate warming. As a result, its importance is increasing. This review illustrates, with some examples, how P. nicotianae currently impacts plant economies worldwide, and how it may constitute more severe threats to agriculture and natural ecosystems in the context of global climate change.
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