Phytophthora ramorum, a recently described North American and European pathogen, has three clonal lineages. The NA1 and NA2 lineages are found in North American forests and nurseries, while the EU1 lineage appears mainly in European nurseries. P. ramorum is heterothallic, having two mating types A1 and A2. All NA1 and NA2 isolates are of A2 mating type. When first collected, all EU1 isolates were of A1 mating type, with the exception of one A2 isolate collected in Belgium in 2002. Screening 410 other Belgian isolates for mating type revealed two additional EU1-A2 isolates collected in 2002 and 2003. PCR-RFLP, AFLP and SSR markers were used to determine the nature of the mating type change. The three isolates show no indications of sexual recombination or mitotic crossing over, indicating that mutation or mitotic gene conversion is the most likely explanation for the mating type change. We compared the pathogenicity and sporulation characteristics of the EU1-A2 isolates to those of EU1-A1 and NA1-A2 isolates on four host plants. Despite small differences in pathogenicity on some hosts, the EU1-A2 isolates were similarly aggressive to each other and to the EU1-A1 isolates and more aggressive than the NA1-A2 isolates. Sporulation characteristics were also comparable among EU1-A2 isolates and between EU1-A1 and EU1-A2 isolates, except for EU1-A2 isolate BBA 26/02. The limited genotypic and phenotypic differences between EU1-A2 isolates probably evolved after the mating type change, which may have occurred several years before the isolates were detected. There are strong indications that the EU1-A2 population has been eradicated from Belgium.