Pathogenicity of Ceratocystis resinifera to Norway spruce

27 Oct 2010

The blue-stain fungus Ceratocystis resinifera colonizes wounds on living Picea spp. and other conifers in Europe and North America. Little is known regarding the pathogenicity of this fungus and consequently, four Norwegian C. resinifera isolates were inoculated on to Norway spruce (Picea abies) using two different techniques. These included single-point inoculations on young trees (two inoculations per tree on 14-year-old trees) and mass-inoculations on older trees (#200 inoculations per tree on 34-year-old trees). In both experiments, C. resinifera induced minor symptoms that in most cases did not differ significantly from inoculation with sterile agar. The virulent blue-stain fungus C. polonica, which was inoculated for comparative purposes, induced extensive symptoms, causing 83% dead cambium circumference and 82% blue-stained sapwood, and long necrotic lesions in the phloem. The results suggest that C. resinifera is non-pathogenic or only mildly pathogenic to Norway spruce and does not present a threat to these trees.