|Pine pitch canker is a
quarantine pathogen in the European Union, affecting several pine tree species
and other conifers. Symptoms of the disease on adult plants are pitch cankers
and twig death, whereas plant seedlings show yellowing of pine needles, collar
and root rot and, eventually death of plant seedlings.
This fungus was
reported for the first time in 2004, and constitutes the first reference of the
pathogen in Europe. Then, measures were adopted to avoid fungal dissemination
in Spain and in the European Union, as well as its eradication.
agreement to carry out the project Etiology, epidemiology and control of
Fusarium circinatum, published on the 4th July of the present year in
BOE, through some coordinated actions among several
Spanish research centres, will deal with various aspects related to the
etiology, epidemiology and control of pine pitch canker.
This team will
comprise five research groups (Estación Fitopatolóxica do
Areeiro, el Grupo de Investigación en Hongos Fitopatógenos
Research Group of Plant Pathogenic Fungi of the Mediterranean Agroforestry
Institute of the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia,
the Instituto Vasco de
Investigación e Desenvolvemento, the Unit of Entomology and Forest
Pathology of the Universidad de Valladolid-Palencia and the Laboratory of
Forest Pathology belonging to the INTA in Madrid) and two support research
groups (Centro de Sanidad Forestal de Calabazanos of the Junta de Castilla y
the Laboratorio de Sanidad Vegetal in Asturias).
coordination with these groups, the Estación Fitopatolóxica do
Areeiro will contribute to the achievement of the aims presented in the
project. Regarding the etiology of the disease, the centre will develop a
molecular method for the detection and diagnosis of F. circinatum in
seeds, plants and wood; they will perform the molecular and morphological
characterization of adult and nursery plant isolates of P. pinaster. In
addition, the EFA will carry out studies on the infective process of F.
circinatum in pine cones, as well as on the behavior of several clones of
P. pinaster against F. circinatum. Regarding the epidemiology,
they will carry out tasks of monitoring of the affected forestry stands in
Galicia, as well as on the study of F. circinatum transmission through