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Virulence of Leptographium serpenson longleaf pine seedlings under varying soil moisture regimes

Matusick, G., Eckhardt, L.G. and Enebak, S.A. (2008) Virulence of Leptographium serpenson longleaf pine seedlings under varying soil moisture regimes. Plant Disease, 92 (11). pp. 1574-1576.

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Recently, Leptographium serpens has been recovered from the roots of declining and dead longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) in stands associated with various abiotic stresses. Although most data suggest that L. serpens is pathogenic to various Pinus spp., there is little known of its virulence on longleaf pine or its relationship with abiotic stress in causing disease. These trials examined the effects of L. serpens infection coupled with drought stress. Trials began with wound inoculations of bareroot longleaf pine seedlings in spring 2006 and 2007 at the seedling stress facility at Auburn University. Soon after inoculation, seedlings were also subjected to adequate moisture, moderate drought, or severe drought. Sixteen weeks after inoculation, longleaf pine survival, L. serpens virulence, and seedling growth characteristics were measured. Longleaf pine seedlings inoculated with L. serpens had 33% mortality (138/420) which was significantly greater than nonwounded control seedlings (22%, 47/211). Survival and lesion size on longleaf pine suggests that L. serpens is moderately pathogenic to longleaf pine seedlings. Separately, moisture stress associated with low soil moisture also contributed to seedling mortality. Results suggest that L. serpens infection and moisture stress commonly experienced by southern pines act independently to stress longleaf pine.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: The American Phytopathological Society
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