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Variation in growth of Heterobasidion parviporum in a full-sib family of Picea abies

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Heterobasidion parviporum (Fr.) Niemela & Korhonen and Heterobasidion annosum (Fr.) Bref. sensu lato are some of the major forest pathogens in the northern hemisphere causing root and butt rot to conifers. The relative susceptibility to H. parviporum was investigated in a full-sib family of Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] by inoculating a set of 252 cloned progenies from a controlled cross. Four ramets of each progeny were used and the 2-year-old rooted cuttings were incubated for 6 weeks under greenhouse conditions. The condition of the cuttings was assessed visually and all the plants were in excellent vigour with no mortality recorded during the experiment. To score the relative susceptibility, lesion length in the inner bark and fungal growth in the sapwood were measured. Among the progenies, significant differences were found for fungal growth in the sapwood (p<0.0005). There was no significant difference for lesion length; however, there was a significant positive correlation between fungal growth and lesion length. The broad-sense heritability was 0.11 for fungal growth. This shows that the genetic component for susceptibility to H. parviporum can be detected even within a full-sib family of Norway spruce and that there is a potential for mapping quantitative trait loci for this trait in Norway spruce.
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Keywords: Genetic variation; Heterobasidion; Picea abies; mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden 2: The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, Ekebo, Svalov, Sweden

Publication date: 2010-04-01

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