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Variation in properties of Phlebiopsis gigantea related to biocontrol against infection by Heterobasidion spp. in Norway spruce stumps



The properties of 64 heterokaryotic strains of Phlebiopsis gigantea, isolated mostly from Norway spruce stumps, were tested for asexual spore production, growth rate and competitive ability against Heterobasidion spp. on agar medium, and for growth rate in spruce wood. Eighteen isolates were also tested for the efficacy of control against Heterobasidion spp. in stem pieces of spruce. The results revealed high variation in traits between different P. gigantea isolates. The efficacy of control against Heterobasidion spp. and the growth rate in spruce wood were closely related to each other (r = 0.727, p < 0.001). These preliminary tests indicate that the growth rate of a P. gigantea strain in spruce wood is the most important characteristic determining its efficiency in controlling the infection and spread of Heterobasidion spp. in spruce stumps.