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Cohabitation of the pine wood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, and fungal species in pine trees inoculated with B. xylophilus

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The relationship between the pine wood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, and fungi cohabiting in 15-year-old Japanese black pine, Pinus thunbergii, was examined at intervals of 2 months over a year following inoculation with PWN. The population of PWN in the trees was large in August, but decreased slightly in December then increased again in February. Eighteen species of fungi were isolated from wood samples of the pine trees examined. Among them were Phialophora repens, Sphaeropsis sapinea, Pestalotiopsis spp. and Rhizoctonia sp., which were detected most frequently every season. All of these dominant fungi had positive effects on increasing the nematode population except for Rhizoctonia sp., on which PWN propagated less. Under laboratory conditions, 18 species of fungi isolated from pine trees and Botrytis cinerea cultured on potato dextrose agar served as food for PWN, and PWN population build up was compared at 20°C. PWN increased significantly on Pestalotiopsis sp. 1, Pestalotiopsis sp. 2, Sphaeropsis sapinea, Phialophora repens and B. cinerea from 10-15 days after inoculation. From the viewpoint of food quality and their cohabiting ability, we concluded that the species of fungi that were dominant in the pine trees, except for Rhizoctonia sp., had a compatible relationship with PWN, whilst Rhizoctonia sp. and Penicillium spp. were neutral, and Trichoderma spp. had an incompatible relationship with PWN.

Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa Oiwake-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan


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