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New Taxon-Specific Heterobasidion PCR Primers Detect and Differentiate North American Heterobasidion spp. in Various Substrates and Led to the Discovery of Heterobasidion irregulare in British Columbia, Canada

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Pacific Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada, 506 West Burnside Road, Victoria, BC V8Z 1M5, Canada
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Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, University of British Columbia, 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
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Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 93 Mount Edward Road, Charlottetown, PEI C1A 5T1, Canada
4
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, 54 Mulford Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2019, 8(3), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens8030156
Received: 13 August 2019 / Revised: 10 September 2019 / Accepted: 13 September 2019 / Published: 18 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Pathogens)
Heterobasidion annosum sensu lato is a species complex of pathogenic white-rot wood decay fungi which cause root and butt rot in conifer and hardwood species across the Northern hemisphere. Annual losses to forest managers are valued in the billions of dollars, due to tree mortality, reduction in timber yield, and wood decay. In North America, H. irregulare and H. occidentale have a partially overlapping host and geographic range, cause similar disease symptoms and produce similar fruiting bodies, making discrimination between the two of them often difficult. We developed two sets of primers that bind specifically to conserved, but species-specific portions of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase and elongation factor 1α alleles. The method is sensitive enough to detect either species from infected wood. Analysis of North American isolates has further clarified the distribution of both species on this continent, including the detection of H. irregulare for the first time on ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) in British Columbia. This method has the potential to be a valuable tool for the detection of the pathogen in exported/imported wood products, as well as for the further identification and assessment of the distribution of North American Heterobasidion species. View Full-Text
Keywords: elongation factor 1 alpha; glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase; Heterobasidion species; molecular identification; phytosanitary; wood products trade elongation factor 1 alpha; glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase; Heterobasidion species; molecular identification; phytosanitary; wood products trade
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Shamoun, S.F.; Hammett, C.; Sumampong, G.; Li, X.; Garbelotto, M. New Taxon-Specific Heterobasidion PCR Primers Detect and Differentiate North American Heterobasidion spp. in Various Substrates and Led to the Discovery of Heterobasidion irregulare in British Columbia, Canada. Pathogens 2019, 8, 156.

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