Variation in susceptibility of six pine species and hybrids to pitch canker caused by Fusarium circinatum
Six pine species or hybrids were tested for susceptibility to pitch canker caused by Fusarium circinatum. Pinus densiflora, Pinus thunbergii, Pinus x rigitaeda (Pinus rigida × Pinus taeda), P. rigida × P. x rigitaeda, Pinus echinata and Pinus virginiana were inoculated with three spore loads (50, 500 and 5000 per tree) of F. circinatum. External symptoms, lesion length, and the frequency of reisolation of the fungus were investigated. External symptoms were greatest in P. echinata, followed by P. virginiana, however, P. densiflora was not susceptible to F. circinatum. Based on mean lesion lengths, the six pine species or hybrids differed significantly (p < 0.01) in susceptibility to pitch canker. Pinus echinata sustained the longest lesions, whereas P. densiflora sustained the shortest lesions. The effect of inoculum density was not significant among three spore treatments within species (p = 0.17), although lesion length was slightly greater at higher spore loads over all pine species. The fungus was reisolated from inoculated stems of all pine species tested, even on trees showing little or no damage from the disease. Additional studies are needed to further explore the basis for resistance to pitch canker.
Document Type: Research Article
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Publication date: December 1, 2008