The Diplodia Tip Blight Pathogen Sphaeropsis sapinea Is the Most Common Fungus in Scots Pines’ Mycobiome, Irrespective of Health Status—A Case Study from Germany

2021 | journal article; research paper. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​The Diplodia Tip Blight Pathogen Sphaeropsis sapinea Is the Most Common Fungus in Scots Pines’ Mycobiome, Irrespective of Health Status—A Case Study from Germany​
Blumenstein, K.; Bußkamp, J.; Langer, G. J.; Langer, E. J. & Terhonen, E.​ (2021) 
Journal of Fungi7(8) pp. 607​.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080607 

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Authors
Blumenstein, Kathrin; Bußkamp, Johanna; Langer, Gitta Jutta; Langer, Ewald Johannes; Terhonen, Eeva
Abstract
The opportunistic pathogen Sphaeropsis sapinea (≡Diplodia sapinea) is one of the most severe pathogens in Scots pine, causing the disease Diplodia tip blight on coniferous tree species. Disease symptoms become visible when trees are weakened by stress. Sphaeropsis sapinea has an endophytic mode in its lifecycle, making it difficult to detect before disease outbreaks. This study aims to record how S. sapinea accumulates in trees of different health status and, simultaneously, monitor seasonal and age-related fluctuations in the mycobiome. We compared the mycobiome of healthy and diseased Scots pines. Twigs were sampled in June and September 2018, and filamentous fungi were isolated. The mycobiome was analyzed by high-throughput sequencing (HTS) of the ITS2 region. A PERMANOVA analysis confirmed that the mycobiome community composition significantly differed between growth years (p < 0.001) and sampling time (p < 0.001) but not between healthy and diseased trees. Sphaeropsis sapinea was the most common endophyte isolated and the second most common in the HTS data. The fungus was highly abundant in symptomless (healthy) trees, presenting in its endophytic mode. Our results highlight the ability of S. sapinea to accumulate unnoticed as an endophyte in healthy trees before the disease breaks out, representing a sudden threat to Scots pines in the future, especially with increasing drought conditions experienced by pines.
The opportunistic pathogen Sphaeropsis sapinea (≡Diplodia sapinea) is one of the most severe pathogens in Scots pine, causing the disease Diplodia tip blight on coniferous tree species. Disease symptoms become visible when trees are weakened by stress. Sphaeropsis sapinea has an endophytic mode in its lifecycle, making it difficult to detect before disease outbreaks. This study aims to record how S. sapinea accumulates in trees of different health status and, simultaneously, monitor seasonal and age-related fluctuations in the mycobiome. We compared the mycobiome of healthy and diseased Scots pines. Twigs were sampled in June and September 2018, and filamentous fungi were isolated. The mycobiome was analyzed by high-throughput sequencing (HTS) of the ITS2 region. A PERMANOVA analysis confirmed that the mycobiome community composition significantly differed between growth years (p < 0.001) and sampling time (p < 0.001) but not between healthy and diseased trees. Sphaeropsis sapinea was the most common endophyte isolated and the second most common in the HTS data. The fungus was highly abundant in symptomless (healthy) trees, presenting in its endophytic mode. Our results highlight the ability of S. sapinea to accumulate unnoticed as an endophyte in healthy trees before the disease breaks out, representing a sudden threat to Scots pines in the future, especially with increasing drought conditions experienced by pines.
Issue Date
2021
Journal
Journal of Fungi 
Organization
Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie ; Büsgen-Institut ; Abteilung Forstbotanik und Baumphysiologie 
eISSN
2309-608X
Language
English
Sponsor
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds 2021

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