Effects of Grosmannia clavigera and Leptographium longiclavatum on Western White Pine seedlings and the fungicidal activity of Alamo®, Arbotect®, and TREE-age®
Bark beetles carry a number of associated organisms that are transferred to the host tree upon attack that are thought to play a role in tree decline. To assess the pathogenicity to western white pine (WWP; Pinus monticola) of fungi carried by the mountain pine beetle (MPB; Dendroctonus ponderosae), and to evaluate the potential for systemic prophylactic treatments for reducing fungal impacts, experiments were conducted with WWP seedlings to meet three objectives: 1) evaluate pathogenicity of two MPB-associated blue-stain fungi; 2) evaluate phytotoxicity of tree injection products; 3) evaluate the anti-fungal activity of tree injection products, in vitro and in vivo, toward the associated blue-staining fungi. To evaluate pathogenicity, seedlings were inoculated with Grosmannia clavigera or Leptographium longiclavatum, common fungal associates of MPB. Seedling mortality at four months after inoculation was 50% with L. longiclavatum and 90% with G. clavigera, both significantly higher than controls and thereby demonstrating pathogenicity. Phytotoxic effects of TREE-äge®, Alamo®, and Arbotect® were evaluated by stem injection; no phytotoxic effects were observed. Anti-fungal properties of the same three products were evaluated in vitro against G. clavigera, where Alamo was most active. Co-inoculation of G. clavigera and L. longiclavatum into seedlings after a stem injection of Alamo showed significantly less mortality and lesion formation than either species alone. Results support the hypothesis that MPB blue-stain associates, particularly G. clavigera, promote death of WWP when attacked by MPB. These findings suggest that the administration of a fungicide with insecticide for tree protection against bark beetles may be advantageous.
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