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Behaviour of Neonectria fuckeliana causing a pine canker disease in New Zealand

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Abstract:

Neonectria fuckeliana (C. Booth) Castl. & Rossman is known to be associated with a stem canker disease of Pinus radiata D. Don in New Zealand plantation forests. Although N. fuckeliana has been previously recorded as a wound invader or weak pathogen of Picea and Abies species in the Northern Hemisphere, little is currently known about the basic biology of the fungus. This paper outlines early investigations into the spore production and dispersal of N. fuckeliana in New Zealand. Perithecia of N. fuckeliana occur frequently on pruned stubs and on the surface of cankers, and ascospores appear to be the primary means of dispersal for this fungus in New Zealand. Both field collections and spore trapping show that mature perithecia contain viable ascospores in all seasons, and spores are ejected and dispersed using moisture. The conidial phases are rarely found in the field. Optimum temperature for both growth of mycelium and ascospore germination was between 15 and 25°C. Some spore germination occurred at temperatures as low as 5°C, but above 25°C spore germination was abnormal. Ascospores and perithecia favoured storage in lower temperatures: overall, ascospores from perithecia stored at room temperature gradually lost their viability, whereas those stored at 4 and–8°C maintained their viability over an 18month period.

Neonectria fuckeliana (C. Booth) Castl. & Rossman a été associé à un chancre sur le tronc de Pinus radiata D. Don dans les plantations de la Nouvelle-Zélande. Bien que N. fuckeliana ait déjà été identifié comme envahisseur des blessures ou opportuniste chez les espèces d’Abies et de Picea dans l’hémisphère Nord, la biologie fondamentale de ce champignon est actuellement peu connue. Cet article donne un aperçu des premiers travaux de recherche sur la production et la dissémination des spores de N. fuckeliana en Nouvelle-Zélande. Les périthèces de N. fuckeliana se développent souvent sur les chicots des branches qui ont été élaguées et à la surface des chancres. Les ascospores semblent être le principal mode de dissémination de ce champignon en Nouvelle-Zélande. Les récoltes sur le terrain et les captures de spores montrent que les périthèces matures contiennent des ascospores viables à l’année longue et que les spores sont éjectées et disséminées grâce à l’humidité. Le stade conidien est rarement observé sur le terrain. La température optimale pour la croissance du mycélium et la germination des spores se situe entre 15 et 25 °C. Une certaine germination a été observée à des températures aussi basses que 5 °C mais elle devient anormale au-dessus de 25 °C. Les ascospores et les périthèces se conservent mieux à basse température: en général, les ascospores des périthèces conservés à la température de la pièce perdent graduellement leur viabilité tandis qu’elles restent viables pendant plus de 18 mois si les périthèces sont conservés à 4 et –8 °C.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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