Norio Sahashi, and
Katsunori Nakamura, Kyushu Research Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI), Kurokami 4-11-16, Kumamoto, 860-0862, Japan;
Mineko Ohira and
Tadao Toda, Kyushu Regional Breeding Office, Forest Tree Breeding Center, FFPRI, Suya 2320-5, Koshi, 861-1102, Japan
Pine wilt disease is one of the most serious epidemic tree diseases in Japan, and resistant pine trees have been developed through a breeding program. To evaluate resistance of resistant families of Japanese black pine, Pinus thunbergii, to the pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, isolated from the field, and to determine whether differentiation of pathogenicity to resistant pine families appears in the nematode isolates, seedlings of five resistant pine families were inoculated with 25 nematode isolates. Disease incidence 18 weeks after inoculation was significantly different among nematode isolates and among pine families but there was no interaction effect between nematode isolate and pine family. This indicates that nematode isolates did not have differential host specificity to resistant families of P. thunbergii. Isolate Shimabara, a test isolate of the breeding program, showed the same degree of virulence as the highly virulent isolates frequently used in experiments. However, more virulent isolates than Shimabara were found among the isolates collected from natural pine forest. This indicated that B. xylophilus populations with higher virulence than Shimabara exist in the natural population. These findings are important in development of more efficient breeding procedures for resistant pine trees.