Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Fungi identified as Sphaeropsis sapinea (or synonyms) have been reported from Larix. Lack of pathogenicity tests, confusion about the identity of isolates mentioned in previous literature, and existence of distinct populations (A and B morphotypes) of the pathogen indicated the need to evaluate the ability of S. sapinea to cause disease of larch. Elongating snoot tips of Larix decidua, Larix laricina, and known hosts of the pathogen, Pinus banksiana and Pinus resinosa, were inoculated with water-agar plugs colonized with an A or a B isolate, or sterile plugs (controls). Each of five replications included five seedlings for each treatment-species combination. After 6 weeks, no symptoms had developed on control seedlings, but two-way analyses of variance revealed significant effects of isolate morpnotype and host on both incidence and severity of disease (values of p ≤ 0.01). The A isolate killed almost all shoot tips, but the B isolate killed from no P. resinosa shoots to 56% of L. laricina shoots. The average length of shoot killed by the A isolate was also greater than that killed by the B isolate. Response to the B isolate again varied among species, with greater average lengths of shoot killed on the larches (compared with the pines). Both A and B morphotypes of 5. sapinea should be considered among the fungi encountered on L. decidua and L. laricina.
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