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Effects of oleoresins and monoterpenes on in vitro growth of fungi associated with pine decline in the Southern United States

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As a means of exploring pine resistance to root disease and declines, the effects of host plant secondary metabolites on the growth of root colonizing fungi associated with three diseases/declines of southern pines – loblolly pine decline, littleleaf disease and annosum root rot were tested. The associated fungi –Leptographium huntii, L. serpens, L. terebrantis, L. procerum, Heterobasidion annosum and Phytophthora cinnamomi– were grown in saturated atmospheres or in direct contact with, pure monoterpenes and crude oleoresin collected from the four southern pines (Pinus taeda, P. eschinata, P. palustris and P. elliotti) for 7 day. Fungal growth was measured at 3, 5 and 7 day. Root-infecting fungi differed significantly in sensitivity to crude oleoresin and pure monoterpenes. All fungi tested were inhibited, to some extent, by the resins tested. H. annosum and P. cinnamomi were strongly inhibited by all the monoterpenes tested. The ophiostomatoid fungi were significantly less affected by the compounds tested. L. huntii and L. serpens were less inhibited by monoterpenes than either L. terebrantis or L. procerum. These fungal growth studies show that the kind and amount of secondary metabolite produced by the host plant have a profound effect on tree pathogens. Alterations of tree physiology may have implications for defenses against tree pathogens as well as to the ecology and management of forest ecosystems. Difference in incidence of root disease observed in the field may be explained by the ability of the fungus to tolerate these host defense mechanisms.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: United States Forest Service, Forest Health Protection, Pineville, LA, USA 2: Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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