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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Scolytus multistriatus associated with Dutch elm disease on the island of Gotland: phenology and communities of vectored fungi

Menkis, Audrius; Östbrant, Inga-Lena; Davydenko, Kateryna; Bakys, Remigijus; Balalaikins, Maksims; Vasaitis, Rimvydas


Scolytus multistriatus Marsham, the smaller European elm bark beetle, is a vector for Dutch elm disease (DED) that in the year 2005 invaded the island of Gotland (Sweden). The island possesses the largest population of elm (mainly Ulmus minor Mill.) in northern Europe. The aim of this study was to monitor flying periods of S. multistriatus during three consecutive years and by using high-throughput sequencing to assess communities of vectored fungi. Sampling of the beetles was carried out at two different sites in Gotland in 2012, 2013, and 2014. In total, 50 pheromone traps were placed at each site and checked weekly during June-August each year. From all sites and years, 177 beetles were trapped. Among these, 6.2 % were trapped in June, 76.8 % in July, and 16.9 % in August (difference significant at p<0.007). Sequencing of ITS rDNA from the beetles revealed the presence of 1589 fungal taxa, among which virulent DED pathogen Ophiostoma novo-ulmi Brasier was the second most common species (9.0 % of all fungal sequences). O. ulmi Buisman, the less virulent DED pathogen, was also detected but only in a single beetle, which was sampled in 2012 (0.04 % of sequences). There were 13.0 % of the beetles infested with O. novo-ulmi in 2012, 4.0% in 2013, and 27.7% in 2014. O. novo-ulmi comprised 0.8% of fungal sequences in 2012, 0.002 % in 2013, and 8.2 % in 2014. The study showed that the proportion of S. multistriatus vectoring O. novo-ulmi has increased in recent years.


Ophiostoma; Invasive pathogens; Bark beetles; Disease management; Fungal community; Ulmus

Published in

Mycological Progress
2016, Volume: 15, number: 6, article number: 55

    SLU Authors

    • Menkis, Audrius

      • Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Östbrant, Inga-Lena

        • Swedish Forest Agency
          • Bakys, Remigijus

            • Aleksandras Stulginskis University
            • Vasaitis, Rimvydas

              • Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

            UKÄ Subject classification

            Forest Science

            Publication Identifiers


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