Title

Virulence of, and interactions among mountain pine beetle associated blue-stain fungi on two pine species and their hybrids in Alberta

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Canadian Journal of Botany

Publication Date

2007

Issue

3

Volume

85

Publisher

NRC Research Press

First Page

316

Last Page

323

Abstract

Mountain pine beetle (MPB) is the most serious pest of lodgepole pine in western Canada, and it is predicted to spread into boreal jack pine within the next few years. Colonization of host trees by MPB-associated blue-stain fungi appears to be required for successful beetle reproduction. Three species of blue-stain fungi, Grosmannia clavigera (Robinson-Jeffery and Davidson) Zipfel, de Beer, and Wingfield (≡ Ophiostoma clavigerum (Robinson-Jeffery and Davidson) Harrington), Ophiostoma montium (Rumbold) von Arx, and Leptographium longiclavatum Lee, Kim, and Breuil, are associated with MPB in Alberta. In inoculation experiments, all three fungi caused lesions on lodgepole pine, jack pine, and their hybrids. On average, lesions were longer on jack pine and hybrids than on lodgepole pine, suggesting that fungal development will not be a barrier to MPB success in these trees. Differences in lesion length caused by the three fungal species were minimal, with significant differences observed only on hybrid pine and betweenO. montium and the other fungal treatments. On average, lesions caused by combinations of the three fungi (pair-wise and all together) did not differ significantly in length from those caused by the fungi singly, and none of the fungal species competitively excluded any of the others. These observations suggest that all three species are pathogenic to boreal pines and that the virulence of all three species is comparable.

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