Root-colonizing ophiostomatoid fungi associated with dying and dead young Scots pine in Poland



Ophiostomatoid fungi are carried by various bark beetles. However, very little is known about the role of these fungi in conifer roots. We studied ophiostomatoid fungi in roots of dying and dead Pinus sylvestris trees and tested the potential phytotoxicity of some isolates using a sensitive bioassay with Lepidium sativum in Poland. Fungi were identified based on their morphology and DNA sequencing. Three ophiostomatoid fungi, Leptographium procerum, Sporothrix inflata and Ophiostoma pallidulum, were isolated from the roots. The most abundant soil-borne fungus, S. inflata, and relatively rare O. pallidulum were isolated for the first time from roots of dying and dead pine trees. The frequency of S. inflata and O. pallidulum correlated with tree decline. The fungi were isolated more frequently from roots of dead than dying trees. Sporothrix inflata and O. pallidulum slightly reduced the stem and root growth of L. sativum. Leptographium procerum reduced more significantly root than stem growth. This species reduced root elongation 32–54% after 10–17 days of incubation.