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Responses of Sitka spruce of different genetic origins to inoculation with Heterobasidion annosum: lesion lengths, fungal growth and development of the lignosuberized boundary zone

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Three genetically distinct groups of Sitka spruce, open-pollinated Queen Charlotte Island provenance, A13 selected seed and M0044 half-sib mixture, were wounded alone or wounded and inoculated with Heterobasidion annosum sensu stricto on the lower stems. Growth of the pathogen and lesion formation was compared in the three genetic groups after treatment. No differences in the rate of colonization of the three genetic groups were observed over a 40 day period; lesion lengths in the bark and sapwood correlated closely. Moreover, lesions were considerably longer in inoculated plants than in those which were wounded only. No correlations were found within or between host genetic groups in the numbers or total areas of resin canals present in the first 18 mm from the wound in bark tissues for the three host genetic groups. Formation of the ligno-suberized boundary zone (LSZ), however, was inhibited in the bark of inoculated plants, being first detected later and at a greater distance from the wound/inoculation point in the presence of H. annosum than in plants that were wounded only. Thickness of the suberin cell layers within the LSZ of M0044 plants was greater in wounded and inoculated, than in wounded only plants. The significance of these findings in relation to detecting spruce genotypes potentially resistant to H. annosum is discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


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Publication date: June 1, 2007


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