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Hypovirulence and Chestnut Blight Research: Fighting Disease with Disease

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During the first half of this century, the chestnut blight fungus, Endothia parasitica, destroyed stands of the American chestnut, Castanea dentata, throughout the tree's natural range. Conventional methods of controlling plant diseases have been ineffective. An approach being studied is the use of viruslike cytoplasmic hypovirulence agents to reduce the ability of the fungus to cause blight. Individual cankers have been controlled by treating them with strains containing these agents, but neither the agents nor the strains containing them appear to have spread naturally. Persistent cankers containing these agents may be required to provide long-term sources of inoculum for spread.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Assistant Plant Pathologist, Department of Plant Pathology and Botany, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven

Publication date: 1981-10-01

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