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Interaction Between Diplodia pinea and D. scrobiculata in Red and Jack Pine Seedlings

March 2011 , Volume 101 , Number  3
Pages  334 - 339

O. Santamaría, D. R. Smith, and G. R. Stanosz

First author: Department of Ingeniería del Medio Agronómico y Forestal, Universidad de Extremadura, Ctra. de Cáceres s/n, 06007 Badajoz, Spain; and second and third authors: Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.

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Accepted for publication 9 October 2010.

Sphaeropsis sapinea sensu lato is a conifer fungal pathogen that causes shoot blight and stem cankers. Recently, the former S. sapinea has been divided into two species, Diplodia pinea and D. scrobiculata. The aims of the study were to determine the contribution of each species in disease development on red and jack pines by means of co-inoculations and molecular identifications, and to evaluate how the presence of each species affects the development and aggressiveness of the other. Symptom severity (distance below the inoculation site at which necrotic needles were observed) and identification length (the maximum distance from inoculation site from which either D. pinea or D. scrobiculata was identified using molecular methods) were recorded 4 weeks after inoculating wounded seedlings with agar plugs colonized by these pathogens. The results suggested that D. pinea was much more aggressive on both hosts than D. scrobiculata. When a seedling was co-inoculated with these pathogens, the symptom development appeared to be mainly due to D. pinea. The presence of D. pinea also interfered with the establishment of D. scrobiculata in the plant tissue. However, D. scrobiculata showed antagonism toward D. pinea. When both pathogens co-occurred in a single seedling, symptom severity caused by D. pinea was less than when D. pinea alone was present.

Additional keywords: Pinus banksiana, P. resinosa, shoot blight, tip blight.

© 2011 The American Phytopathological Society