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Damage caused to Cercis canadensis by the Asian ambrosia beetle and its associated micro-organisms was investigated as was host response to infestation. Various micro-organisms were connected with beetle infestation but only filamentous fungi exhibited extensive growth. In particular, species of Ambrosiella were associated with beetle tunnels. Fungal hyphae infected all cell types by growing directly through cell walls, by penetrating pit membranes, and by traversing perforations. Colonization of parenchyma was intensive and these cells probably provided the nutrients for continued hyphal growth. Host cell response to damage included breakdown of the protective layer of some parenchyma cells and accumulation of polysaccharide gels within vessel members. Measurements showed no significant difference in ethylene production by wood samples from infected versus uninfected trees. However, established literature indicates that damage-induced ethylene production was responsible for initiating events that caused vascular blockage by carbohydrate gel.


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