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Forests 2016, 7(1), 7;

Delphinella Shoot Blight on Abies lasiocarpa Provenances in Norway

Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), P.O. Box 115, 1431 Ås, Norway
The Norwegian Forest Seed Center (Skogfrøverket), Birkebeinerveien 11, N-2301 Hamar, Norway
Julius Kühn Institut—Federal Research Center for Cultivated Plants (JKI), Institute for Plant Protection in Horticulture and Forestry (JKI-GF), Messeweg 11/12, 38104 Braunschweig, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jan Stenlid, Jonas Oliva and Audrius Menkis
Received: 6 November 2015 / Revised: 10 December 2015 / Accepted: 17 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
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Delphinella shoot blight (Delphinella abietis) attacks true firs (Abies spp.) in Europe and North America. Especially subalpine fir (A. lasiocarpa), one of the main Christmas tree species in Norway, is prone to the disease. The fungus kills current year needles, and in severe cases entire shoots. Dead needles become covered with black fruiting bodies, both pycnidia and pseudothecia. Delphinella shoot blight has mainly been a problem in humid, coastal regions in the northwestern part of Southern Norway, but, probably due to higher precipitation in inland regions during recent years, heavy attacks were found in 2011 in a field trial with 76 provenances of subalpine fir in Southeastern Norway. However, the amount of precipitation seemed less important once the disease had established in the field. Significant differences in susceptibility between provenances were observed. In general, the more bluish the foliage was, the healthier the trees appeared. The analysis of provenance means indicated that, at least for the southern range, the disease ratings were correlated with foliage color. This study also includes isolation, identification, a pathogenicity test, a seed test and electron microscopy of the wax layer on the needles. The fungus was identified based on the morphology of spores and by sequencing the Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) regions of the ribosomal DNA. Koch’s postulates were fulfilled. The fungus was found present on newly harvested seeds and may therefore spread via international seed trade. When comparing the wax layers on green and blue needles, those of the latter were significantly thicker, a factor that may be involved in disease resistance. View Full-Text
Keywords: subalpine fir; Delphinella abietis ; foliar color; resistance subalpine fir; Delphinella abietis ; foliar color; resistance

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Talgø, V.; Skage, J.-O.; Steffenrem, A.; Junker, C.; Eikemo, H.; Brurberg, M.B.; Johnskås, O.R. Delphinella Shoot Blight on Abies lasiocarpa Provenances in Norway. Forests 2016, 7, 7.

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