Association of Ophiostoma novo-ulmi with Scolytus schevyrewi (Scolytidae) in Colorado.
The smaller European elm bark beetle, Scolytus multistriatus, has been the primary vector of the Dutch elm disease fungus, Ophiostoma novo-ulmi, in elm trees in Colorado since 1948. An exotic from Asia, the banded elm bark beetle, Scolytus schevyrewi, was found in Siberian elm, Ulmus pumila, in Colorado in April of 2003; this was the first report of S. schevyrewi in North America. S. schevyrewi is now found throughout much of Colorado and in at least 21 other states. The similarities in breeding and feeding habits between S. schevyrewi and S. multistriatus have raised concerns about the ability of S. schevyrewi to serve as a vector for O. novo-ulmi. The objective of this preliminary study was to determine if O. novo-ulmi could be isolated from adult S. schevyrewi emerging from diseased elm trees. S. schevyrewi and S. multistriatus were allowed to infest diseased stem segments of American elm, Ulmus americana. The infested stem segments were caged and isolations were made from the adult brood that emerged. O. novo-ulmi was isolated from most of the adults of both beetle species, showing that S. schevyrewi could acquire the pathogen as effectively as S. multistriatus. Future studies are needed to determine if S. schevyrewi can effectively transmit the pathogen to healthy trees.