Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science

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Comparison of procedures to evaluate the pathogenicity of Ceratocystis fimbriata sensu lato isolates from Eucalyptus in South Africa

M van Wyk, RN Heath, M Tarigan, M Vermeulen, MJ Wingfield


Ceratocystis fimbriata sensu lato(s.l.) is an important pathogen of Eucalyptus. Pathogenicity of isolates has typically been evaluated by inoculating seedlings under greenhouse conditions. It is, however, not clear how accurately this reflects pathogenicity under field conditions. In this study, five techniques to potentially screen C. fimbriata isolates for their relative pathogenicity to Eucalyptus were compared. These included: in vitro growth comparisons on artificial media; inoculations on apples; inoculation on Eucalyptus seedlings in a greenhouse; inoculations on Eucalyptus bolts freshly cut from stems of young trees; and field inoculations on young trees. Eight isolates of C. fimbriata s.l. collected from various areas in South Africa were used. There was considerable variation in growth in culture and aggressiveness of the eight isolates. Field inoculations on young trees were best correlated with inoculations of bolts (r = 0.76). Lower correlation coefficients were obtained with seedlings (r = 0.59), apple inoculations (r = 0.56), and in vitro colony  growth (r = 0.42). Inoculation of bolts provides a rapid and reliable method to screen isolates of C. fimbriata s.l. for pathogenicity to Eucalyptus.

Southern Forests 2010, 72(2): 56–61

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