• Pines;
  • Heterobasidion annosum;
  • 1,3;
  • glucanase;
  • chitinase;
  • glucosidase;
  • in vitro activity


Embryos of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), Corsican pine (P. nigra var. maritima) and Lodgepole pine (P. contorta) were infected in vitro with Heterobasidion annosum and the activities of 1,3-β-glucanase, chitinase and β-glucosidase were monitored. Both the infected and control embryos of the three pine species showed the presence of the enzymes. Statistical analysis showed no significant increase (P > 0.05) in the levels of 1,3-β-glucanase in infected embryos for all the three pine species. However, there was a significant increase in levels of chitinase in infected embryos of P. contorta and P. nigra var. maritima and also in levels of β-glucosidase in infected embryos of all three of the pine species. The study has therefore revealed that constitutive levels of glucanohydrolase enzymes exist in the embryos of the three pine species and that the induction of chitinase and β-glucosidase was a factor in the response of the embryos to stimulation by H. annosum infection.