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Native Pinus radiata at risk from common pine pathogen

Burgess, T., Gordon, T., Wingfield, B.D. and Wingfield, M.J. (2003) Native Pinus radiata at risk from common pine pathogen. In: 8th International Congress of Plant Pathology: Solving problems in the real world, (ICPP 2003), 2 - 7 February, Christchurch; New Zealand.


Sphaeropsis sapinea is a latent pathogen of Pinus spp. world-wide. It is native where pines are endemic, and has been introduced into all countries where pines are exotic. The proposed new species, Diplodia scrobiculate prov. nom., (formerly known as the B morphotype of S.sapinea), is thought to have a much more limited distribution. D. scrobiculata was first reported as an endophyte and weak pathogen of P banksiana in mid-western USA, where coexists with S. sapinea. D. scrobiculata has a broader distribution in Northern and Central America and Europe. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) population markers have shown strong geographic isolation between populations of D. scrobiculata from different regions in North America, with unique alleles fixed in the different populations. This suggests that the populations have been reproductively isolated for a long time. Collections of endophytes from native P. radiata in California have yielded only D. scrobiculata and not S. sapinea. SSR analysis of three populations of D. scrobiculata from native P. radiata has identified many shared alleles among the populations and high gene flow between them. The three Californian populations are distant and distinct from populations of D. scrobiculata from elsewhere in the world. In Southern Hemisphere plantations, P. radiata is very susceptible to S. sapinea, especially when trees are stressed. Native P. radiata is experiencing severe stress due to pitch canker caused by Fusarium circinatum. This would provide ideal conditions for an outbreak of S. sapinea. Pine imports into California must be carefully monitored to prevent the introduction of S. sapinea from other areas.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Horticulture Australia
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