Phytophthora ramorum is the exotic, invasive quarantine plant pathogen that causes sudden oak death (SOD) on oaks and also infects camellias, rhododendrons and other popular landscape plants. The pathogen was detected in 39 plant nurseries and garden centers in 2010, and has recently been detected in several watercourses draining infested nurseries.
Since 2002, the Pacific Southwest Research Station has led a comprehensive, competitive research program on SOD to develop treatments and strategies to manage the disease. Initially focused on detection methods and pathogen biology, the program now seeks to apply what has been learned to manage the disease and prevent pathogen spread. Research proposals are peer-reviewed and more than 50 grants have been awarded to over 20 research institutions in the U.S., Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
See also California Oak Mortality Taskforce.