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Susceptibility of some Mesophilic Hardwoods to Alder Phytophthora

Authors

  • Alberto Santini,

    1. Authors’ addresses: Istituto per la Protezione delle Piante C.N.R. Piazzale Cascine, 28, 50144 Firenze, Italy;
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  • Gian Paolo Barzanti,

    1. Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Agrarie – Sezione Patologia Vegetale Piazzale Cascine, 28, 50144 Firenze, Italy (correspondence to Alberto Santini)
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  • Paolo Capretti

    1. Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Agrarie – Sezione Patologia Vegetale Piazzale Cascine, 28, 50144 Firenze, Italy (correspondence to Alberto Santini)
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Istituto per la Protezione delle Piante C.N.R. – Firenze, Italy

Abstract

Inoculation tests were carried out in the greenhouse on seedlings of five hardwoods (Alnus cordata, A. glutinosa, Castanea sativa, Juglans regia and Quercus robur) to determine their susceptibility to an isolate of alder Phytophthora obtained in Italy from A. cordata. A Phytophthora cinnamomi strain was used for comparison. Host susceptibility to infection was determined as the lesion length after stem inoculation and the percentage of necrotized rootlets after soil infestation with inoculated millet seeds. The aggressiveness of the alder Phytophthora isolate was significantly higher in the two Alnus species than in the other hosts. Our results were confirmed with both methods of inoculation. Alnus cordata was consistently the most susceptible host species when compared with the other hardwoods. Damage by P. cinnamomi was severe, particularly after soil infestation tests. The most susceptible species were alders, chestnut and walnut. The test also suggests that alder Phytophthora is able to spread through infected seedlings of different hardwood species.

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