Variation in pinewood nematode susceptibility among Pinus pinaster Ait. provenances from the Iberian Peninsula and France

Topical collection: Mediterranean Pines

Pinus pinaster Ait. susceptibility to pinewood nematode significantly differed among provenances, and the two Atlantic provenances of the Iberian Peninsula being the most affected. However, significant provenance × environment interaction was found. Provenance susceptibility was related to basal diameter, number of branches and oleoresin flow, and some climatic parameters.

Context. The pinewood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, native to North America, is an important pest affecting pine forests throughout Eurasia. In Europe, it has been detected in Portugal and Spain and is primarily associated with Pinus pinaster, an important Mediterranean tree species.
Aims. We have investigated the differences in susceptibility among several P. pinaster provenances in the Iberian Peninsula and France, as well as their relationship to certain growth traits and physiological parameters.
Methods. Three independent inoculation tests were performed on 3 to 4-year-old trees, followed by assessment of growth traits and physiological variables, along with time course destructive sampling for nematode quantification.
Results. The results showed significant differences among provenances for almost all growth traits, wilting, and mortality, though a significant provenance × environment interaction was also detected. Two Atlantic provenances, Noroeste-Litoral and Leiria, displayed the largest susceptibility to pinewood nematode. Changes in susceptibility to B. xylophilus between experiments were influenced by temperature and seasonality. Autumn precipitation and mean maximum temperature during summer at the original provenance sites could be related to provenance susceptibility.
Conclusion. Noroeste-Litoral and Leiria were the most disease-affected provenances. This study emphasizes the need for further research on how tree growth stage influences susceptibility and on the possibility of cross-breeding among provenances.

Pine wilt disease (PWD), Chlorophyll fluorescence, Oleoresin flow, Water potential, Growth traits, Nematode density

Menéndez-Gutiérrez, M., Alonso, M., Toval, G. et al. Annals of Forest Science (2017) 74: 76.

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