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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Fungi associated with the red-haired bark beetle, Hylurgus ligniperda (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in the forest-steppe zone in eastern Ukraine

Davydenko, Kateryna; Vasaitis, Rimvydas; Meshkova, Valentyna; Menkis, Audrius


The aim of this study was to investigate the composition of the fungal community associated with the red-haired bark beetle (Hylurgus ligniperda Fabricius) in two plantations of Pinus sylvestris L. located in the Kharkiv and Luhansk regions (ca. 250 km apart) in the forest-steppe zone in eastern Ukraine. In each plantation, 48 beetles were collected from butts of living trees and 48 beetles from stems of fallen trees, i.e., a total of 96. Half of the beetles from each site were used for culturing fungi and the other half for direct sequencing the internal transcribed spacer of fungal ribosomal RNA (ITS rRNA). Thirty distinct fungal taxa were identified by culturing and 31 by direct sequencing. When pooled, there were 40 fungal taxa among which Ophiostoma piceae (Munch) Sydow & P. Sydow (10.3%), Alternaria alternata (Fries) Keissler (9.7%), Ogataea neopini Nagatsuka, S. Saito & Sugiyama (8.0%), Botryotinia fuckeliana (de Bary) Whetzel (5.1%), Cladosporium sp. Link (5.1%) and Sydowia polyspora (Brefeld & Tavel) E. Muller (4.6%) were the most common. Species of the genus Ophiostoma were the most abundant and included five different taxa O. piceae, O. bicolor R.W. Davidson & D.E. Wells, O. ips (Rumbold) Nannfeldt, O. canum (Muller) Sydow & P. Sydow and O. rectangulosporium Ohtaka, Masuya & Yamaoka, all of which are known to be at most weak pathogens of trees. The plant pathogen Botryotinia fuckeliana and insect pathogens Isaria farinose (Holmskjold) Fries and Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo-Crivelli) Vuillemin were also detected. Basidiomycetes were rare, among which three wood-decaying fungi Bjerkandera adusta (Willdenow) P. Karsten, Fomitopsis pinicola (Swartz) P. Karsten and Heterobasidion annosum (Fries) Brefeld were detected. In conclusion, in the forest-steppe zone in eastern Ukraine H. ligniperda is a vector of diverse communities of fungi the majority of which, if at all, are only weak pathogens of trees.


Coleoptera; Curculionidae; Hylurgus ligniperda; red-haired bark beetle; scots pine; pathogens; ophiostomatoid fungi; insect-fungus interaction; forest-steppe zone; eastern Ukraine

Published in

European Journal of Entomology
2014, Volume: 111, number: 4, pages: 561-565