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Open AccessReview

Pine Pitch Canker and Insects: Relationships and Implications for Disease Spread in Europe

Department of Agroforestry, ETSIIA Palencia, University of Valladolid, Avenida de Madrid 44, 34071 Palencia, Spain
Sustainable Forest Management Research Institute, University of Valladolid-INIA, Avenida de Madrid 44, 34071 Palencia, Spain
Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária, INIAV, Av. da República, Quinta do Marquês, 2780-505 Oeiras, Portugal
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, P.O. Box 49 SE-230 53 Alnarp, Sweden
Department of Forest Protection, Wood Science and Game Management, Saint Petersburg State Forest Technical University, Institutskiy per., 5 St. Petersburg 194021, Russia
Department of Biogeography and Environmental Protection, Saint Petersburg State University. 13B Universitetskaya Emb., St. Petersburg 199034, Russia
National Institute for Research and Development in Forestry “Marin Dracea”, Brașov Research Station, 13 Cloșca Str., 500040 Brașov, Romania
Department of Plant Production and Forest Resources, University of Valladolid, Avenida de Madrid 44, 34071 Palencia, Spain
Department of Biology, CESAM (Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies), University of Aveiro, Campus Universitario de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Forest Sciences Center of Catalonia (CTFC), Carretera St. Llorenç de Morunys, 25280 Solsona, Lleida, Spain
Department of Plant Protection-Phytopathology, Akdeniz University, 07070 Campus Antalya, Turkey
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia, 100, 95123 Catania, Italy
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), Research Centre for Olive, Citrus and Tree Fruit, Corso Savoia 190, 95024 Acireale, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(8), 627;
Received: 6 June 2019 / Revised: 9 July 2019 / Accepted: 20 July 2019 / Published: 26 July 2019
PDF [899 KB, uploaded 7 August 2019]


The fungal pathogen Fusarium circinatum (Nirenberg and O’ Donnell) is the causal agent of pine pitch canker (PPC) disease, which seriously affects conifer species in forests and nurseries worldwide. In Europe, PPC is only established in the Iberian Peninsula; however, it is presumed that its range could expand through the continent in the near future. Infection caused by this fungus requires open wounds on the tree, including physical damage caused by insects. Therefore, a relationship probably occurs between PPC and a wide variety of insects. The aim of this review is to outline the taxonomic and ecological diversity of insect species with high potential association with F. circinatum in Europe and elsewhere. The insects were classified as vectors, carriers and wounding agents according to the association level with the PPC disease. In addition, we discuss the insect-mediated spreading of PPC disease in relation to the different phases of forest stand development, from seeds and seedlings in nurseries to mature stands. Lastly, to improve our predictive capacities and to design appropriate intervention measures and strategies for controlling disease dissemination by insects, variables such as geographic location, time of the year and host species should be considered. Our review provides a framework of the multiple factors that regulate the insect–host interactions and determine the success of the infection. View Full-Text
Keywords: pine pitch canker; vectors; carriers; wounding agents; forests; nurseries; insect control pine pitch canker; vectors; carriers; wounding agents; forests; nurseries; insect control
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Fernández-Fernández, M.; Naves, P.; Witzell, J.; Musolin, D.L.; Selikhovkin, A.V.; Paraschiv, M.; Chira, D.; Martínez-Álvarez, P.; Martín-García, J.; Muñoz-Adalia, E.J.; Altunisik, A.; Cocuzza, G.E.M.; Silvestro, S.D.; Zamora, C.; Diez, J.J. Pine Pitch Canker and Insects: Relationships and Implications for Disease Spread in Europe. Forests 2019, 10, 627.

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