Journal of Chemical Ecology

, 37:1002 | Cite as

Genetic Variation of Lodgepole Pine, Pinus contorta var. latifolia, Chemical and Physical Defenses that Affect Mountain Pine Beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae, Attack and Tree Mortality

  • Daniel S. Ott
  • Alvin D. Yanchuk
  • Dezene P. W. Huber
  • Kimberly F. WallinEmail author


Plant secondary chemistry is determined by both genetic and environmental factors, and while large intraspecific variation in secondary chemistry has been reported frequently, the levels of genetic variation of many secondary metabolites in forest trees in the context of potential resistance against pests have been rarely investigated. We examined the effect of tree genotype and environment/site on the variation in defensive secondary chemistry of lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta var. latifolia, against the fungus, Grosmannia clavigera (formerly known as Ophiostoma clavigerum), associated with the mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae. Terpenoids were analyzed in phloem samples from 887, 20-yr-old trees originating from 45 half-sibling families planted at two sites. Samples were collected both pre- and post-inoculation with G. clavigera. Significant variation in constitutive and induced terpenoid compounds was attributed to differences among families. The response to the challenge inoculation with G. clavigera was strong for some individual compounds, but primarily for monoterpenoids. Environment (site) also had a significant effect on the accumulation of some compounds, whereas for others, no significant environmental effect occurred. However, for a few compounds significant family x environment interactions were found. These results suggest that P. c. latifolia secondary chemistry is under strong genetic control, but the effects depend on the individual compounds and whether or not they are expressed constitutively or following induction.

Key Words

Dendroctonus ponderosae Disease Fungal associate Gas chromatography with flame ionization detection (GC-FID) Grosmannia clavigera Heritability Lodgepole pine Plant defense Pinus contorta latifolia Plant pathology Resin secondary metabolites Terpenoids 



This work was funded by British Columbia Forest Service grant to K.F.W. and A.D.Y.; support from Oregon State University and University of Vermont and USDA Forest Service to K.F.W. The authors thank Andrea Scott, Marco Hernandez, Matthew Klingenberg, Jeff Selesnic, Erin Clark, Dr. Staffan Lindgren, Dr. Ian Hartley (University of Northern British Columbia) and Bonnie Hooge, Dr. Michael Carlson, Bonnie E. Lee, Nicholas Ukrainetz, John Murphy (B.C. Forest Service) Carolyn Goodwin Kueffner, Marcia Caldwell, Dr. Alan Howard, Drew Cameron, Sarah Pears and Dan Comerford (University of Vermont, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources) and Dr. Paul Schaberg (USDA Forest Service) for assistance in the field and laboratory. The authors thank Clive Dawson and David Dunn (British Columbia Forest Service Analytical Chemistry lab) for assistance in processing all analytical chemistry samples.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel S. Ott
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alvin D. Yanchuk
    • 3
  • Dezene P. W. Huber
    • 2
  • Kimberly F. Wallin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural ResourcesUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  2. 2.University of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  3. 3.British Columbia Forest ServiceVictoriaCanada
  4. 4.USDA Forest ServiceSouth BurlingtonUSA

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