Pest Organisms Threatening Europe (POnTE)

Focus on emerging Phytophthoras

aerial surveys to find new outbreaks of PhytophthoraThis multi-partner EU project POnTE is exploring the genetics, biology, epidemiology, vector ecology and economic impacts of four pathosystems that threatens strategic crops and forestry in the EU including new and exotic Phytophthoras.

Research objectives

The aim is to gain greater understanding about the risk of introduction and potential impact of Phytophthora pathogens that threaten Europe, with Forest Research involved in the part of the project related to emerging diseases of forests.

Specific objectives are to:

  • Survey and monitoring for the presence of Phytophthoras in forest and in natural ecosystems in the UK.
  • Gain knowledge about the pathogenicity and host range of new or Phytophthora species recently arrived in Europe.
  • Assess species diversity of Phytophthora species in environmental samples, contrasting traditional isolation techniques with Illumina sequencing.
  • Develop new q-PCR markers for detection of new Phytophthora species.
  • Natural regeneration larch seedling with root infection by Phytophthora cinnamomi. Alice Holt, Farnham, Surrey, England.Investigate spread of Phytophthoras from nurseries into the wider environment, via recent and new plantings. This work will complement the LWEC PHYTO-THREATS project
  • Develop a basic scheme for an international protocol to help in producing Phytophthora free stock, thereby minimizing opportunities for spread into the wider environment.

Results so far

The project is in its early stages and no results are yet available.


POnTE started the 1st of November 2015 and will run for 48 months.


Ana Perez-Sierra

Joan Webber

Funders and partners

This project is funded jointly through Horizon 2020  and the Forestry Commission as part of the research programme Understanding Threats to Resilience

The research is in line with support to government policies of sustainable forest management as laid out in The UK Forestry Standard and its supporting series of Guidelines.

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