Susceptibility to Armillaria novae-zelandiae among clones of Pinus radiata.
Options are currently limited for the management of armillaria root disease in plantations of Pinus radiata in New Zealand. One possibility may be to plant genetically resistant clones on infested sites. Studies were undertaken over four consecutive years to examine variation in inherent resistance in P. radiata. Rooted cuttings in pots were treated with wood segment cultures of Armillaria novae-zelandiae and disease symptoms were monitored during the following summer. Disease was severe among inoculated cuttings in all studies, with an overall mean of 54% plants infected. There were significant differences in both infection and mortality between studies and between four pathogen isolates, but not among 25 radiata pine clones. The rate at which symptoms first appeared also did not vary significantly between clones. Results suggest that while genetic resistance cannot be ruled out as an option in P. radiata, potential gains may be limited in extent and costly to achieve.