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The North American P group of Heterobasidion annosum s.l. is widely distributed in Pinus pinea forests of the western coast of central Italy

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The distribution of the North American P group of Heterobasidion annosum s.l., recently reported from a Pinus pinea forest in the surroundings of Rome, was studied using mating tests and DNA fingerprinting (mitochondrial DNA, random amplified microsatellite technique and two group-specific markers). This fungus is present in several forests and small plantations along the Tyrrhenian coast of the Italian peninsula, within an area approximately 100 km long, extending from Fregene in the north to the National Park of Circeo in the south, and 27 km wide including the city of Rome. In pine forests of Castelporziano, Castel Fusano and Anzio, where US troops resided during the Second World War, the North American P group is more frequent than the European P group. The low number of mating alleles in the Italian population of the North American P group supports the hypothesis of its origin from a small number of introductions. The near 100% sexual compatibility between the North American and European P groups, together with inconsistencies in results obtained with different identification methods of these groups, suggests that hybridization between the North American and European P populations occurs occasionally.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: C.R.A., Istituto Sperimentale per la Patologia Vegetale, Via C.G. Bertero 22, 00156 Roma, Italy 2: Dipartimento Biotecnologie Agrarie, Sez. Patologia vegetale, P.le delle Cascine 28, 50144 Firenze, Italy. 3: Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Unit, PO Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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