Morphological features of Camarosporium pini – the fungus associated to health state degradation in Austrian and Ponderosa pine

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Abstract

The subject of this study is escalated occurrence of the pathogenic fungus Camarosporium pini in the needle tissue of symptomatic trees P. nigra and P. ponderosa var. jeffreyi growing in urbanized settings and parks. C. pini induces severe infections and initiates a blight and premature loss of second-year foliage in pine trees. The fungus was identified microscopically and on base of morphological keys. The affected needles displayed a distinct bluish-grey necrotic band in the centre. On the surface of infected needles, there were formed pycnidia producing brown, oval conidia with three transversal and one or two vertical walls. Disease symptoms, some important characteristics in pure culture, and distinctive morphological features of C. pini associated to the health state degradation in Austrian and Ponderosa pine are described and compared. Cumulative effects of these stressful biotic and various abiotic factors may explain the current situation concerning the decline in the P. nigra and P. ponderosa var. jeffreyi in Slovakia.

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