Seedling resistance to Phytophthora cinnamomi in the genus Abies
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Root rot and stem canker caused by Oomycete species belonging to the genus Phytophthora often seriously limit culture of true firs (Abies spp.)
An investigation of the variation of resistance among Abies species to Phytophthor a cinnamomi was carried out to identify potential sources of resistance in the genus.
Thirty-two Abies species were grown in a greenhouse for 2 and/or 3 years from seed. Seedlings were moved to an outdoor lath house, inoculated with rice grains colonized with P. cinnamomi, and subsequent mortality was assessed biweekly for 16 weeks.
Disease developed rapidly resulting in 88.1 % overall mortality 16 weeks after inoculation. Mortality was less in two of the eight taxonomic sections of the genus evaluated, Momi (0.65 ± 0.0252) and Abies (0.79 ± 0.0193). Mortality in all other sections exceeded 93 %. Final species mortality ranged from 10.6 % (Abies firma) to 100.0 % (several species).
Although several caveats apply, results have identified potential sources of Abies to be used as (1) resistant planting stock, (2) grafting rootstock, and (3) parents in hybridization/backcrossing programs in order to mitigate losses caused by P. cinnamomi.
KeywordsAbies Fir Phytophthora Phytophthora cinnamomi Host range Root rot Christmas trees Disease resistance Plant disease
We gratefully acknowledge the technical support of Anne Margaret Braham, Emily Hudson Heater, Jianfeng Li, and Kala Parker.
This research was supported by the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service via the Christmas Tree Genetics Program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (34458-14512).
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