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Research article2018Peer reviewed

Looking for relationships between the populations of Dothistroma septosporum in northern Europe and Asia

Adamson, Kalev; Mullett, Martin S.; Solheim, Halvor; Barnes, Irene; Mueller, Michael M.; Hantula, Jarkko; Vuorinen, Martti; Kacergius, Audrius; Markovskaja, Svetlana; Musolin, Dmitry L.; Davydenko, Kateryna; Keca, Nenad; Ligi, Karli; Priedite, Rasa D.; Millberg, Hanna; Drenkhan, Rein


Dothistroma septosporum, a notorious pine needle pathogen with an unknown historical geographic origin and poorly known distribution pathways, is nowadays found almost in all areas inhabited by pines (Pinus spp.). The main aim of this study was to determine the relationship between North European and East Asian populations. In total, 238 Eurasian D. septosporum isolates from 11 countries, including 211 isolates from northern Europe, 16 isolates from Russian Far East and 11 isolates from Bhutan were analysed using 11 species-specific microsatellite and mating type markers. The most diverse populations were found in northern Europe, including the Baltic countries, Finland and European Russia. Notably, D. septosporum has not caused heavy damage to P. sylvestris in northern Europe, which may suggest a long co-existence of the host and the pathogen. No indication was obtained that the Russian Far East or Bhutan could be the indigenous area of D. septosporum, as the genetic diversity of the fungus there was low and evidence suggests gene flow from northern Europe to Russian Far East. On the western coast of Norway, a unique genetic pattern was observed, which differed from haplotypes dominating other Fennoscandian populations. As an agent of dothistroma needle blight, only D. septosporum was documented in northern Europe and Asia, while D. pini was found in Ukraine and Serbia.


Dothistroma needle blight (DNB); Eurasia; Genetic diversity; Invasive species; Northern hemisphere; Pine pathogen

Published in

Fungal Genetics and Biology
2018, Volume: 110, pages: 15-25