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Endophytic foliar fungi in Betula spp. and their F1 hybrids

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We examined foliar endophyte frequencies in two native (Betula pendula and Betula pubescens) and three exotic (Betula ermanii, Betula platyphylla and Betula resinifera) birch species and their hybrids in Punkaharju, Finland. The most frequently isolated endophytic fungi in the experimental trees were Fusicladium betulae and Gnomonia setacea making up 80–90% of all endophyte infections. Total endophyte infection levels varied from 0.5 colony forming units (CFU)/cm2 in B. platyphylla to 8.6 CFU/cm2 in B. pubescens that had highest total infection levels of both examined endophyte species. The resistance of hybrids was generally very close to the more resistant parent (the only exception being Fusicladium in B. platyphylla × B. pendula hybrid) supporting the hypothesis that the resistance of birch hybrids to these fungi is genetically based and caused by dominant inheritance of resistance traits.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Plant Production Research, Plant Protection, Jokioinen, Finland 2: Section of Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Turku, FIN-20014 Turku, Finland., Email: 3: The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Punkaharju Research Station, Punkaharju, Finland

Publication date: August 1, 2003


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