Impact of Systemic Fungicides on Lesions Formed by
Inoculation with the Bluestain Fungus (Ophiostoma minus) in Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda L.)
Joseph J. Doccola, Brian L. Strom, Cavell Brownie, and Kier D. Klepzig
Abstract: Ophiostomatoid fungi are important components within the highly damaging insect-fungal complexes attacking trees in North America. This group includes the disease agents responsible for Dutch elm disease and laurel wilt, as well as a number of associates of tree-killing bark beetles. While systemic fungicides have been applied against ophiostomatoids in certain fungus-host systems, the breadth of their utility and their management implications for a wide array of fungus and host species remain uncertain. To evaluate the impact of commercially available fungicides against the bluestaining fungus Ophiostoma minus, an associate of the southern pine beetle, researchers conducted two experiments with loblolly pines (Pinus taeda; mean dbh 14.2 and 18.5 cm, respectively) in central Louisiana, U.S. The first experiment screened three fungicides (Alamo®, Arbotect® 20-S, and PHOSPHO-jet) for their systemic impacts on O. minus, and the second further evaluated the best performing product (Alamo) alone and in combination with Arbotect 20-S. In all cases, loblolly pines were stem-injected basally and challenged with inoculations of cultured O. minus at time periods ranging from 28 days to 738 days post-treatment. In both experiments, treatment of loblolly pines with Alamo produced the smallest lesion areas, indicating that this treatment was the most effective for limiting the within-tree growth of O. minus. This effect was still present more than two years post-treatment. The study authors conclude that Alamo is the most effective product of those evaluated for prophylactic treatment against O. minus, and suggest that evidence is building for the effectiveness of this product generally against ophiostomatoid fungi.
Keywords: Dendroctonus frontalis; Scolytidae; Propiconazole; Southern Pine Beetle; Systemic Injection; Vascular Wilt.