Plant pathogens are microscopic organisms that make plants sick. These organisms are important components of ecosystems because they help maintain a natural balance within the plant communities. However, they can also cause substantial problems when introduced into new areas, environments or plant communities. You can help detect and monitor the emergence of diseases in the Greater Cape Floristic Region (GCFR) by contacting us or reporting your observations of unhealthy plants.
In this project, we set out to reveal the diversity of a group of plant pathogens called Phytophthora in the GCFR. Phytophthora species are important plant pathogens globally because of their economic and ecological impacts. For example, previous research has determined that Phytophthora cinnamomi was introduced to South Africa and is the cause of protea root rot and the decline of important species such as the silver tree.
We initiated this project in 2016 and have completed much of what we set out to accomplish. However, we would still like to hear from you if you are interested in contributing or if you would like our help with diagnostics. Please check out our other projects as well if you are interested in contributing to research or advancing knowledge to protect the Greater Cape Floristic Region.
Methods to Contribute
Many citizens have submitted samples to our lab for diagnostics. Their contributions are invaluable because they are often from areas that we would not be able to visit ourselves. We invite sample submissions to determine if Phytophthora is involved in your observations. Contact us if you would like to know if Phytophthora could be affecting your plants.
Want to contribute?
Contact us to get involved! Anyone is welcome to participate.