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Variation among Italian and French elm clones in their response to Ophiostoma novo-ulmi inoculation

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In 1995 a clone bank of elms from across Italy was created at Antella (Florence, I) under a European Union project. In 1998 an experimental planting of some clones from this source was established in Antella together with material from a similar clone bank in France and two reference clones: Commelin (relatively susceptible) and Lobel (relatively resistant). In May 2001, the elms were inoculated with Ophiostoma novo-ulmi and disease development was assessed throughout that summer and the next. Significant differences in susceptibility were found between taxonomic groups, with putative natural hybrids between Ulmus minor and Ulmus pumila being the most resistant and Ulmus glabra the most susceptible. Significant differences were also found within U. minor, some clones being as resistant as Lobel. For U. minor, a statistically significant relation was found with latitude, southerly clones showing less disease than more northerly ones. Relationships were also found between disease severity and times to bud burst, these relationships applying both to the different taxonomic groups and within U. minor. Relationships between growth increment and disease severity were inconsistent. These results are discussed in relation to the intrinsic genetically-controlled differences that exist between elms and to differences in susceptibility that occur as the growing season proceeds and as a consequence of environmental influences.

Document Type: Research Article


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Publication date: June 1, 2005

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