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Pine Pitch Canker and Insects: Regional Risks, Environmental Regulation, and Practical Management Options
Open AccessReview

Sampling and Detection Strategies for the Pine Pitch Canker (PPC) Disease Pathogen Fusarium circinatum in Europe

Natural Resources Institute Finland, Latokartanonkaari 9, 00790 Helsinki, Finland
Sustainable Forest Management Research Institute, University of Valladolid—INIA, Avenida de Madrid 44, 34004 Palencia, Spain
Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária, I.P. Av da República, Quinta do Marquês, 2780-159 Oeiras, Portugal
Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sundsvägen 3, 230 53 Alnarp, Sweden
Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria, Hatfield 0083, Pretoria, South Africa
Department of Forest Entomology, Phytopathology and Game fauna, Forest Research Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 132 “St. Kliment Ohridski” Blvd., 1756 Sofia, Bulgaria
Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI), University of Florence, Piazzale delle Cascine 18, 50144 Firenze, Italy
Finnish Food Authority, Mustialankatu 3, 00790 Helsinki, Finland
ANSES Plant Health Laboratory, Unit of mycology. Domaine de Pixérécourt, Bât. E., 54220 Malzéville, France
Department of Biology, CESAM (Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies), University of Aveiro, Campus Universitario de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Forest Research, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4LH, Great Britain, UK
Phytophthora Research Centre, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 3, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
Forest Protection Department, Institute of Forest Research, Braci Leśnej 3, 05-090 Sekocin Stary, Poland
Faculty of Forestry, University “Ss Cyril and Methodius”- Skopje, 16 Makedonska brigada br.1, MK-1000 Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia
Slovenian Forestry Institute, Department of Forest Protection, Večna pot 2, SI—1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Calabazanos Forest Health Centre (Junta de Castilla y León), Polígono industrial de Villamuriel, S/N, Villamuriel de Cerrato, 34190 Palencia, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(9), 723;
Received: 20 June 2019 / Revised: 2 August 2019 / Accepted: 17 August 2019 / Published: 22 August 2019
Fusarium circinatum Nirenberg & O’Donnel is listed among the species recommended for regulation as quarantine pests in Europe. Over 60 Pinus species are susceptible to the pathogen and it also causes disease on Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) and species in genera such as Picea and Larix. The European Food Safety Authority considers the probability of new introductions—via contaminated seeds, wood material, soil and growing substrates, natural means and human activities—into the EU very likely. Due to early detection, constant surveillance and control measures, F. circinatum outbreaks have officially been eradicated in Italy and France. However, the global spread of F. circinatum suggests that the pathogen will continue to be encountered in new environments in the future. Therefore, continuous surveillance of reproductive material, nurseries and plantations, prompt control measures and realistic contingency plans will be important in Europe and elsewhere to limit disease spread and the “bridgehead effect”, where new introductions of a tree pathogen become increasingly likely as new environments are invaded, must be considered. Therefore, survey programs already implemented to limit the spread in Europe and that could be helpful for other EU countries are summarized in this review. These surveys include not only countries where pitch canker is present, such as Portugal and Spain, but also several other EU countries where F. circinatum is not present. Sampling protocols for seeds, seedlings, twigs, branches, shoots, soil samples, spore traps and insects from different studies are collated and compiled in this review. Likewise, methodology for morphological and molecular identification is herein presented. These include conventional PCR with a target-specific region located in the intergenic spacer region, as well as several real-time PCR protocols, with different levels of specificity and sensitivity. Finally, the global situation and future perspectives are addressed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Gibberella circinata; quarantine species; damping-off; survey programs; morphological identification; molecular detection Gibberella circinata; quarantine species; damping-off; survey programs; morphological identification; molecular detection
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Vainio, E.J.; Bezos, D.; Bragança, H.; Cleary, M.; Fourie, G.; Georgieva, M.; Ghelardini, L.; Hannunen, S.; Ioos, R.; Martín-García, J.; Martínez-Álvarez, P.; Mullett, M.; Oszako, T.; Papazova-Anakieva, I.; Piškur, B.; Romeralo, C.; Sanz-Ros, A.V.; Steenkamp, E.T.; Tubby, K.; Wingfield, M.J.; Diez, J.J. Sampling and Detection Strategies for the Pine Pitch Canker (PPC) Disease Pathogen Fusarium circinatum in Europe. Forests 2019, 10, 723.

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