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Agriculture - Planting the seeds for sustainable farming and forestry
“To produce a pest risk analysis to help prevent sudden oak death from establishing itself in Europe.”

The problem

The pathogen Phytophthora ramorum causes Sudden Oak Death, which has resulted in extensive oak mortality in parts of the USA. It also affects a range of other woodland trees and herbaceous plants. P. ramorum has been found on ornamentals in Europe. However, populations of        P. ramorum from Europe and the USA differ genetically, with different mating types predominating. There is an urgent need for a comprehensive risk assessment for P. ramorum in Europe, together with the development of strategies for controlling potential outbreaks.

RAPRA  Assessing the risk posed by Phytophthora ramorum, a key quarantine organism


RAPRA aims to develop a European Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) for P. ramorum.

The project will:

  • Document geographic range, host range, and all aspects of the pathogen’s epidemiology
  • Assess the potential for sexual reproduction between US and European populations
  • Establish the susceptibility of tree and non-tree species to different mating types
  • Evaluate the likely environmental and socio-economic impacts of pest outbreaks
  • Evaluate existing chemical control measures and test new active ingredients against P. ramorum
  • Develop contingency plans and harmonised risk management strategies for P. ramorum in Europe

Contribution to policy development:

RAPRA will:

  • Publish a Pest Risk Analysis for P. ramorum to guide EU plant health policy and legislation
  • Contribute to the implementation of Directive 2000/29/EC on protective measures against the introduction of organisms harmful to plants
  • Support other EU policy directives and initiatives on cross-border trade and the environment

Project deliverables

  • Reports on distribution, mating types, and host range – April, October 2005
  • Database of P. ramorum distribution records – January 2006
  • Reports on environmental and socio-economic impacts, susceptibility of host species, and contingency plans for outbreak scenarios – June 2006
  • Reports on cost-benefit analysis of control measures and efficacy of new control agents –
    June 2006
  • Maps highlighting areas most endangered by potential outbreaks of Sudden Oak Death –
    June 2006
  • Reports on risk of entry, establishment, and spread of P. ramorum in Europe – November 2006


  • Website – June 2004
  • Posters and leaflets – June 2004
  • On-line discussion forum – January 2006
  • Project workshop – March 2007
  • Publications in scientific literature – March 2007

Technical information

Project acronym: RAPRA
Project’s official full title: Risk analysis for Phytophthora ramorum, a recently recognised pathogen threat to Europe and the cause of Sudden Oak Death in the USA
Research priority: Tools and assessment methods for sustainable agriculture and forestry management
Specific webpage: Details not yet available
Proposal/contract no: 502672
Start date: 01/01/2004
Kick off meeting: Not available
Completion date: 31/03/2007
European Commission scientific officer: Daniele Tissot (

Name: Forest Research
Abbreviated name: FR
Address: Alice Holt Lodge
Farnham, Surrey
GU10 4LH
Country: UK
Tel: +44 01420 526241
Fax: +44 01420 23653


Name: Central Science Laboratory
Abbreviated name: CSL
Country: UK

Name: Plant Research International
Abbreviated name: PRI
Country: The Netherlands

Name: Institute for Plant Protection in Horticulture
Abbreviated name: BBA-IPP
Country: Germany

Name: Dutch Plant Protection Service
Abbreviated name: PD
Country: The Netherlands

Name: National Institute for Agricultural Research
Abbreviated name: INRA
Country: France

Name: Instituto Mediterraneo de Estudios Avananzados
Abbreviated name: CSIC
Country: Spain

Name: National and International Plant Health
Abbreviated name: BBA-NIH
Country: Germany

Name: USDA Forest Service
Abbreviated name: USDA FS
Country: USA