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Mountain pine beetle-associated blue-stain fungi are differentially adapted to boreal temperatures

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Mountain pine beetles (MPB) are the most serious pest of lodgepole pine in Canada and are likely to invade boreal jack pine forests. MPB vector three blue-stain fungi, Grosmannia clavigera, Ophiostoma montium and Leptographium longiclavatum, which contribute to beetle success. Fungal survival at extreme boreal temperatures will contribute to their success in jack pine. Growth, sporulation and survival of the three fungi at −20 to 37°C were tested in vitro. Overwintering survival of G. clavigera and O. montium was assessed in vivo. All species grew at 5–30°C, with optimal growth at 20–25°C. Grosmannia clavigera and L. longiclavatum survived at −20°C, but O. montium died. Growth of G. clavigera and L. longiclavatum was inhibited at 30°C, but O. montium grew well. Grosmannia clavigera and O. montium overwintered in living pines. These results suggest that G. clavigera and L. longiclavatum were adapted to cold boreal winters but not hot summers, with the converse true for O. montium. Temperature tolerance varied among G. clavigera isolates. British Columbian and Californian isolates grew faster at 25°C than Albertan isolates. Isolates from Alberta and Idaho/Montana grew optimally at 20°C, while British Columbian and Californian isolates grew optimally at 25°C.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: 1925 Tomlinson Way, Edmonton, AB T6R 2R6 Canada 2: Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada, Northern Forestry Centre, 5320-122 Street, Edmonton, AB T6H 3S5 Canada

Publication date: 2008-04-01

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