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The virulence of phytopathogenic fungi associated with the bark beetles Tomicus piniperda and Orthotomicus erosus in Tunisia

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Phytopathogenic fungi associated with the bark beetles Tomicus piniperda and Orthotomicus erosus were isolated in various pine forests of Tunisia. Tomicus piniperda and its galleries yielded Leptographium wingfieldii, Ophiostoma minus, and Ophiostoma ips. Ophiostoma minus was the most frequent species associated with T. piniperda, in both the attacking and the emerging beetles. It was collected from most investigated forests, whereas O. ips and L. wingfieldii were obtained only from forests located in Central and Northern Tunisia. Frequencies of association with T. piniperda were always low, reaching 11.1% only once, for O. ips. Ophiostoma ips was the only blue stain fungus associated with O. erosus and its galleries. It was found in all the localities, but at a low and variable frequency, exceeding 15% very rarely. The virulence of 16 fungal isolates was tested by single inoculations into Pinus halepensis (Aleppo pine) at two localities. Differences were detected among species; L. wingfieldii was the most virulent and O. minus the least virulent species in terms of phloem reaction zone formation and fungal growth in the phloem. In a separate experiment, mass inoculations (400 and 800 inoculations per m2 of bole on 1-m high belts) were performed with two isolates of L. wingfieldii on Aleppo pine and on Pinus brutia (Brutia pine). Three months later, measurements of sapwood status (% of conductive transversal section) and of its specific hydraulic conductivity, as well as of the phloem reaction zone lengths, did not show any isolate or density effect. At these experimental sites, Brutia pines appeared significantly more susceptible than Aleppo pines.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire d'Entomologie Forestière, INRGREF, Ariana, Tunisie 2: Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures, Université d'Orléans, 45067 Orléans Cedex 2, France., Email: 3: Unité de Zoologie Forestière, INRA, Ardon, Olivet, France 4: Laboratoire d'Entomologie-Biologie, INAT, Tunis, Tunisie 5: Laboratoire d'Amélioration Génétique, INRGREF, Ariana, Tunisie

Publication date: 2007-02-01

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