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Biocontrol of Fusarium circinatum Infection of Young Pinus radiata Trees

Production and Plant Protection, Neiker Tecnalia, Apartado 46, Vitoria Gasteiz 01080, Spain
Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, P.O. Box 4400, Fredericton, NB E3B 5A3, Canada
INIA-CIFOR, Ctra. La Coruña Km 7.5, Madrid 28040, Spain
Sustainable Forest Management Research Institute, University of Valladolid-INIA, Avda. Madrid 44, Palencia 34004, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Robert A. Blanchette and Timothy A. Martin
Forests 2017, 8(2), 32;
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 4 January 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2017 / Published: 26 January 2017
Pitch canker, caused by the fungus Fusarium circinatum, is a major disease of Pinus radiata currently controlled to some extent in nurseries by good hygiene and application of synthetic fungicides. The aim of this study was to evaluate alternative strategies to control fungal infections in nurseries and young pine plantations. The antagonistic effects of biocontrol bacteria and essential oils against F. circinatum in vitro and in young P. radiata trees were assessed. Pseudomonas fluorescens, Erwinia billingiae, and Bacillus simplex reduced the growth of the fungus in vitro by 17%–29%, and decreased the density of the mycelial mat. In young P. radiata trees, the length of F. circinatum lesions was reduced by 22%–25% by the same bacterial strains. Direct application of cinnamon and/or clove essential oils to wounds in stems of two-year-old P. radiata trees also limited the damage caused by F. circinatum. Lesion length was reduced by 51% following treatment with cinnamon oil (10% v/v), and by 45% following treatment with clove oil (15% v/v) or a combination of both oils. However, the oils were toxic to younger trees. The biocontrol bacteria and essential oils show promise as prophylactic treatments to reduce the devastating effects of F. circinatum on P. radiata. View Full-Text
Keywords: Fusarium circinatum; Pinus radiata; biocontrol bacteria; essential oils Fusarium circinatum; Pinus radiata; biocontrol bacteria; essential oils
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Iturritxa, E.; Trask, T.; Mesanza, N.; Raposo, R.; Elvira-Recuenco, M.; Patten, C.L. Biocontrol of Fusarium circinatum Infection of Young Pinus radiata Trees. Forests 2017, 8, 32.

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