Gibberella circinata (pitch canker)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Seedborne Aspects
- Plant Trade
- Wood Packaging
- Environmental Impact
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Gibberella circinata Nirenberg & O'Donnell 1998 (teleomorph)
Preferred Common Name
- pitch canker
Other Scientific Names
- Fusarium circinatum Nirenberg & O'Donnell 1998 (anamorph)
- Fusarium lateritium f.sp. pini Snyder et al. (anamorph)
- Fusarium moniliforme var. subglutinans Wollenw. & Reinking (anamorph)
- Fusarium subglutinans (Wollenw. & Reinking) P.E. Nelson et al. (anamorph)
- Fusarium subglutinans f.sp. pini J.C. Correll et al. (anamorph)
- Gibberella baccata f.sp. pini
- Gibberella fujikuroi var. subglutinans E.T. Edwards (teleomorph)
- Gibberella subglutinans (E.T. Edwards) P.E. Nelson et al. (teleomorph)
International Common Names
- English: canker: pitch pine
- GIBBCI (Gibberella circinata)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Fungi
- Phylum: Ascomycota
- Subphylum: Pezizomycotina
- Class: Sordariomycetes
- Subclass: Hypocreomycetidae
- Order: Hypocreales
- Family: Nectriaceae
- Genus: Gibberella
- Species: Gibberella circinata
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
DescriptionTop of page
The anamorphic form (Fusarium circinatum) is characterized by the production of macro- and microconidia, which are mitotically derived spores that serve to propagate the fungus under natural conditions. Both spore types are formed on natural substrata and on artificial growth media. Macroconidia are typically 3-septate, with walls that are slightly curved to nearly parallel throughout. The apical cell narrows to an inwardly (i.e. toward the ventral side) curved tip, and the basal cell is foot-shaped (i.e. it has a slight indentation or notch on the dorsal side). Nirenberg and O'Donnell (1998) report macroconidial dimensions as in the range 32-48 x 3.3-3.8 µm. The shape and size of the macroconidium in F. circinatum is similar to that in numerous other species (including many formerly grouped together in section Liseola) and thus is of limited diagnostic value. Microconidia are typically single-celled but may be septate, and are usually ovoid but can be more nearly oval or, less often, allantoid. Microconidia are borne in false heads on aerial polyphialides. In culture, the proliferation of microconidiophores, coupled with a slight twisting of the aerial mycelium on which they are borne, gives F. circinatum a distinctive colony morphology. Aerial mycelium is white, but may have slight purple or violet pigmentation. The underside of a culture may be colourless or show various colorations depending on the isolate, growth medium and culture conditions. Sectors, which form readily in some isolates, frequently differ in colour from the 'parent' colony, indicating that pigmentation is a highly mutable characteristic.
DistributionTop of page
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 12 May 2022
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Algeria||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|South Africa||Present, Localized||1990|
|Tanzania||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)|
|Iraq||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)|
|-Ryukyu Islands||Present, Widespread|
|Philippines||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)|
|South Korea||Present, Localized||Western Korea in urban and forest plantations. Gongju, Taean, Gapyeong|
|Turkey||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Austria||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Belgium||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Cyprus||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Denmark||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Estonia||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Finland||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Germany||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Hungary||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Italy||Absent, Intercepted only|
|Latvia||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Lithuania||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Malta||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Netherlands||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey||Based on long-term annual surveys, 185 survey observations in 2012.|
|Norway||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Poland||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Portugal||Present, Few occurrences|
|Slovenia||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Spain||Present, Few occurrences|
|Sweden||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|United Kingdom||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|Honduras||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)|
|United States||Present, Localized|
|-Massachusetts||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)|
|-Washington||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)|
|Australia||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)|
|-Santa Catarina||Present, Few occurrences|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
In addition to the species listed in the table, which have been observed to be naturally infected, a number of hosts have been discovered through artificial inoculations in the greenhouse or laboratory. These include Pinus contorta var. murryana, P. eldarica [P. brutia var. eldarica], P. jeffreyi, P. lambertiana and P. monophylla (McCain et al., 1987; Storer et al., 1994; Gordon et al., 1996, 1998a).
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
Growth StagesTop of page
SymptomsTop of page
Pitch canker also causes symptoms through direct infections of branches and stems on trees of any age. This usually begins as branch dieback resulting from girdling at an infection site, which is often a cone node or non-cone branch whorl, but may also occur in inter-nodal regions. The earliest symptom is wilting of the needles distal to the infection site, which can be recognized by an accumulation of resin on the branch surface (see Pictures). Wilted needles lose their lustrous green colour and eventually become chlorotic, before turning red and finally brown; abscission tends to occur quickly and uniformly, leaving naked tips (see Pictures). The pace of this progression may vary depending on the season and the age of the infected branch. Early in the season, succulent branches may droop, giving the appearance of a shepherd's crook (see Pictures). Removal of the bark at an infection site reveals resin-soaked tissue with a brown discoloration. Individual infections do not progress very far axially along the infected stem, and their impact is typically limited to branch death distal to the infection. The disease intensifies through repeated infections (see Pictures), which can lead to extensive dieback in the canopy (see Pictures). Although initial infections are usually near branch tips, larger diameter branches and the main stem (trunk) of the tree may eventually sustain infections. This process accelerates the decline of the tree and girdling of the main stem often leads to top-kill and, in some cases, death of the entire tree. Infections on the trunk of the tree often produce copious amounts of resin which can coat large areas of the bark (see Pictures).
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Fruit / abnormal shape|
|Fruit / discoloration|
|Fruit / reduced size|
|Growing point / dieback|
|Inflorescence / fall or shedding|
|Leaves / abnormal colours|
|Leaves / abnormal leaf fall|
|Leaves / wilting|
|Leaves / yellowed or dead|
|Roots / soft rot of cortex|
|Stems / canker on woody stem|
|Stems / dieback|
|Stems / gummosis or resinosis|
|Stems / internal discoloration|
|Stems / witches broom|
|Whole plant / discoloration|
|Whole plant / plant dead; dieback|
|Whole plant / seedling blight|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
The suitability of a wound for infection may depend on how rapidly it dries out. Thus, superficial wounds may require ambient moisture for an infection to occur, which could impose environmental constraints on the above-ground activity of the pathogen. Indeed, where the foliar phase of pitch canker is a problem, infections appear to be associated with locations/seasons where atmospheric moisture is readily available and temperatures are relatively warm, such as in the south-eastern USA during summer thunderstorms (Dwinell et al., 1985). In California, the disease is most severe in close proximity to the coast. The distribution of the disease also suggests that cooler temperatures are restrictive (Gordon et al., 2001). At moderate temperatures the pathogen survives for 1 year or more in infected wood. Spores can survive in soil for from several months to a year or more, depending on conditions. The climatic limitations on pitch canker are less likely to apply to the seedling phase of the disease, because conditions that are conducive to root growth in soil would generally also be suitable for infection by G. circinata.
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
G. circinata produces spores that may become airborne, and these are presumably the primary propagules that are detected in air (Correll et al., 1991). Little is known about the limits of airborne dispersal but the pathogen is readily trapped out of the air in proximity to diseased trees and not in disease-free areas. These observations suggest that transport via air occurs over relatively short distances, but presumably longer range dispersal also occurs at a frequency that diminishes with distance from the source.
In California, many insects are known to carry the pitch canker pathogen, including pine-associated bark beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) in the genera Pityophthorus, Ips and Conophthorus, and Ernobius (Coleoptera: Anobiidae). The pathogen has also been recovered from Lasconotus spp., beetles that are thought to be predatory, but it is not known if they are important as agents of dispersal. In the southeastern USA, Pissoides nemorensis and Rhyacionia spp. are suspected vectors and/or wounding agents. It seems likely that many as yet uncatalogued pine-associated insects will be found to carry G. circinata.
The pathogen can be moved with infected wood and further disseminated by insects that are carried within and later emerge from that wood. Contaminated pruning implements and infested soil on tools or vehicles also represent risks for transport of the pathogen. Pine litter (fallen needles) from infested areas (that might be used as mulch) is likely to harbour the pathogen and should not be moved into non-infested areas. Small diameter branches can be chipped to eliminate insects, but the pathogen survives this process (McNee et al., 2002). Debarking logs will eliminate most of the insects likely to carry the pathogen in this type of material.
Movement in Trade/Transport
The pathogen can be present in seed both externally and internally (Storer et al., 1998). Also, infected seedlings may show no symptoms.
Seedborne AspectsTop of page
G. circinata can infest seed internally or be present as a superficial contaminant (Barrows-Broaddus and Dwinell, 1985; Storer et al., 1998). The mechanisms by which G. circinata infests seed are unknown. Superficial contamination might occur when airborne propagules enter the cone during periods when the cone is open. For cones on infected branches, fungal hyphae might grow from the lesion on the branch, through the cone stalk and into the seed. In Pinus radiata in California, the pathogen was isolated from up to 83% of seeds collected from cones on recently infected branches and from 21% of seeds from cones on symptomless branches (Storer et al., 1998). Seeds from symptomless branches were superficially contaminated, while up to 64% of seeds from recently infected branches were internally infested. The pathogen has similarly been isolated from seed of P. elliotii var. elliotii (Miller and Bramlett, 1979), P. taeda (Miller et al., 1984), P. palustris (Runion and Bruck, 1988), and P. echinata (Dwinell, 1999a).
Effect on Seed Quality
Internal infestations have been associated with deterioration of seed. Radiographs of infected seeds have shown the gametophyte shrunken from the seed coat and a slight deterioration of the embryo, while microscopy revealed hyphal growth and a lack of cellular organization of the seed tissues (Barrows-Broaddus and Dwinell, 1985). In a study of P. radiata, emergence from infested seed was reduced to 9%, down from 67% emergence from comparable uninfested seed (Storer et al., 1998). Similar levels of emergence have been observed for infested seed lots of P. palustris (Runion and Bruck, 1988).
Infection or contamination of seed may result in pre- or post-emergence damping-off or late season mortality of older, woody seedlings (Barnard and Blakeslee, 1980; Blakeslee et al., 1981; Storer et al., 1998).
For seeds that are only externally contaminated, the pathogen can be eliminated by soaking in 1% sodium hypochlorite for 2 minutes (Storer et al., 1998); 30% hydrogen peroxide has also been used for this purpose (Dwinell, 1999a). For seed that is infected internally, systemic fungicides have been used to increase emergence and reduce damping-off. Effective fungicides include thiabendazole-dimethyl sulfoxide (Runion and Bruck, 1988) and a formulated mixture of thiabendazole with carboxin and thiram (TR Gordon, University of California-Davis, USA, personal communication).
Seed Health Tests
The standard method by which G. circinata is detected on seed is by plating the seed on a Fusarium-selective medium (Correll et al., 1991). To discriminate between internal and external infections, half of the seed can be treated with sodium hypochlorite to eliminate external infections. After incubation of the plates for 5 days at approximately 20°C under a 12:12h fluorescent light regime, colonies are identified on the basis of colony morphology and size and shape of the microconidia and their disposition on the conidiophores (see section 'Morphology'). A different technique developed by Anderson (1986) utilizes blotter paper in conjunction with a nutrient medium semiselective for Fusarium. The broth contains 15 g peptone, 5 g MgSO4, 1 g KH2PO4, 0.75 g PCNB, 1 g streptomycin sulphate and 0.12 g neomycin sulphate in 1 L of distilled water. In this technique, the broth is sprayed onto steel-blue blotter paper until saturated. Twenty-five unsterilized seeds are evenly spaced on the blotter paper in a sterile, transparent, plastic box and crushed with a Plexiglas plate. The boxes are incubated at about 20°C until the colonies are about 2 cm in diameter (about 14 days) at which time the colonies are examined under the microscope. For seed lots judged to be pathogen-free by either of the above methods, confirmation should be obtained by conducting a seedling grow-out test. In this way, dormant seed infections not detected by culturing seed might be revealed.
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Bark||fungi/hyphae; fungi/spores||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx||fungi/hyphae; fungi/spores||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Growing medium accompanying plants||fungi/spores||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Leaves||fungi/spores||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Roots||fungi/hyphae||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Seedlings/Micropropagated plants||fungi/hyphae||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||fungi/hyphae; fungi/spores||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|True seeds (inc. grain)||fungi/hyphae; fungi/spores||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Wood||fungi/hyphae; fungi/spores||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
Wood PackagingTop of page
|Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Loose wood packing material|
|Processed or treated wood|
|Solid wood packing material with bark|
|Solid wood packing material without bark|
ImpactTop of page
Pitch canker is an important cause of damage and mortality of P. radiata in urban plantings and in native forests in California. Costs of tree removal and replacement may eventually amount to several million dollars in areas severely affected by pitch canker (Templeton et al., 1997). Pinus muricata and P. attenuata are also affected where native or planted trees are exposed to the pathogen.
Pitch canker has been a serious problem in seedling nurseries in South Africa (Viljoen et al., 1994); it is also found in nurseries in Chile and Spain, but the extent of the problem is not widely known. Pitch canker is apparently only a minor problem in Japan, but is perhaps more important in Korea (J Kim, University of Seoul, Korea, personal communication).
Environmental ImpactTop of page
DiagnosisTop of page
Although the amber-coloured, resin-soaked appearance of tissue beneath the bark is a distinctive characteristic of pitch canker, isolation of the pathogen is strongly recommended to confirm a diagnosis. To make an isolation, pieces of wood are soaked in 70% ethanol for 30 sec and then in 1% sodium hypochlorite for 1 min. The pieces are blotted dry and placed on a Fusarium-selective (FS) medium (Correll et al., 1991) and incubated at room temperature. The composition of FS medium can be modified from the published recipe by eliminating the chlorneb, triadimefon, and rifampicin, and by reducing the pentachloronitrobenzene concentration from 750 ppm down to 200 ppm, without any apparent loss of selectivity. For species identification, candidate Fusarium colonies are transferred from FS medium to carnation leaf agar amended with 6.0 g/L of KCl (Fisher et al., 1983). In some areas, the occurrence of morphologically similar species can make definitive identification of the pathogen challenging (refer to the sections on 'Morphology' and 'Similarities to Other Species').
For the utmost confidence in a diagnosis, the isolate in question should be tested for pathogenicity to pine by mechanical inoculation (Gordon et al., 1998b). Additionally, differences in the sequence of the histone H3 gene can separate G. circinata from morphologically similar fungi (Steenkamp et al., 1999).
The detection and identification, via morphological and molecular methods, of the pathogen are described in OEPP/EPPO (2009).
Detection and InspectionTop of page
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
In the laboratory, it could be difficult to distinguish G. circinata from any of several species of F. subglutinans sensu lato; this includes F. guttiforme, F. pseudocircinatum, F. sacchari, F. subglutinans sensu stricto, and as yet undescribed species of Fusarium associated with mango and maize. All these taxa are similar in bearing microconidia in false heads but differ in a number of subtler characteristics that can be used to differentiate them from F. circinatum in most cases: whether condiophores originate directly from the substrate or from hyphae growing above the surface of the substrate; the number of conidiogenous openings per phialide; and the number of septa in the macroconidia.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
Although the chemical seed treatments described in the section on 'Seedborne Aspects' may be effective in eliminating internal infections, such measures should not, by themselves, be considered sufficient to prevent transport of the pathogen. A more prudent policy would be to avoid movement of any pine seed from an infested region to areas where the disease does not occur. Likewise, movement of other pine material (logs, pine litter, wood chips, etc.) into uninfested areas should be avoided. These restrictions, if enforced, would significantly limit opportunities for introduction of the pathogen. For areas in the southern hemisphere where pines are not native, restrictions on the import of pine material would also aid in the exclusion of pine-associated insects which may not yet be present in an area. A host-free buffer zone around points of entry might be a useful measure, particularly in island nations such as New Zealand. A certification programme would be appropriate for seed orchards and pine nurseries. Such a programme might include visual inspection for symptoms and isolation from random samples. More importantly, nursery managers should be enlisted in a programme of continuous monitoring of seedling mortality, with representative samples sent to an appropriate diagnostic laboratory for testing.
Cultural Control and Sanitary Methods
Pruning to remove infected tips will usually not eliminate the disease, as pre-symptomatic infections will remain and new infections will continue to occur. However, if a lightly infected tree is relatively isolated from other diseased trees, removal of infected tips may slow the development of a new disease centre. Also, if elimination of infected branches can restore the aesthetic value of a tree and thereby allow it to be retained in the landscape, the cost of pruning may be repaid by a delay in removal and replacement of the diseased tree. Sterilization of pruning tools with Lysol or household bleach should be performed before and after pruning operations. Infected or uninfected cut branches and infected trees may contain or become infested with insects that carry the pathogen. Chipping this material will significantly reduce insect populations (McNee et al., 2002). If the chips are to be moved to an uninfested area, they should be further treated with moist heat (for example through composting or solarization) to eliminate the pathogen. It is not recommended that logs and firewood cut in infested areas be moved from the region of origin. If such logs must be moved, debarking is desirable because it will eliminate most of the habitat occupied by insects that can carry the pathogen and transmit the disease to healthy trees.
For Pinus radiata in California, USA, it is recommended that trees generally should not be removed solely due to pitch canker infection. Some trees, despite numerous infections, will remain relatively healthy due to genetic resistance. Others will become severely affected, but may later go into remission, a phenomenon which has been documented to occur at numerous locations (Gordon et al., 2001). A more aggressive approach to tree removal might be justified where an infected tree occurs in an area that is otherwise free of the disease.
In southeastern USA seed orchards and plantations, recommendations for cultural control consist of careful selection of a geographic location and planting site that are suitable for a particular species. When possible, it is suggested to use local seed sources which may be better adapted (Dwinell et al., 1985). In seed orchards, wounding incurred during harvest should be minimized. Over-fertilization should be avoided, as nitrogen fertilization in seed orchards may aggravate pitch canker problems (Fraedrich and Witcher, 1982). Maintaining clean seed orchards and seed production areas will reduce the potential for infected or contaminated seed.
In nurseries and Christmas tree farms, the use of clean seed is of paramount importance. When diseased seedlings or trees are found, they should be uprooted and either burned or placed in a sealed plastic bag for disposal. As much of the root system as possible should be removed. Because the fungus can be associated with soil, care should be taken not to distribute soil from the removal site to other locations on the farm. One should avoid the use of equipment that has recently been moved from an infested site. Because the pathogen may be present in areas where it has not yet been identified, using a high-pressure wash to remove soil before allowing any equipment on-site is a good precaution.
In a large-scale inoculation study of Central American and Mexican pine species and Pinus radiata, 23 species, varieties, and geographic races were screened for resistance in a greenhouse (Hodge and Dvorak, 2000). In this study, P. radiata and its close relatives (Section Serotinae, sub-section Patula) were very susceptible (less than 10% surviving), while 4 out of 5 taxa in sub-section Oocarpa were extremely resistant. These resistant closed-cone species might be useful as alternate or secondary plantation species or as part of a hybrid breeding programme to improve resistance of P. radiata (Hodge and Dvorak, 2000).
Within P. radiata, variation in susceptibility has been observed in California populations of both planted and naturally regenerated trees (Storer et al., 1999; Storer et al., 2002). In native stands, management of pitch canker can best be achieved through practices that promote natural regeneration of the forest. Fire results in plentiful regeneration, and would also have the benefit of eliminating inoculum associated with the litter layer and the soil surface. The ability of P. radiata to colonize openings in the forest canopy will ensure regeneration in areas where gaps are created by any of various means, including pitch canker-induced mortality. Under these circumstances, selection in the presence of pitch canker should ultimately increase the frequency of resistant trees in the population. In managed stands, replanting with resistant seed or seedlings should be done as these materials become available.
Within several species of southern USA pines, there is documented variation in susceptibility. Disease severity can vary with the provenance of the host (P. elliotii; Dwinell and Phelps, 1977), between individual clones (P. taeda and P. virginiana; Kelley and Williams, 1982; Kuhlman et al., 1982; Barrows-Broaddus and Dwinell, 1984), or between full-sib or half-sib families (P. virginiana; Barrows-Broaddus and Dwinell, 1984). Among the recommendations to reduce incidence of pitch canker are the use of a local seed source, use of seed from resistant clones in existing orchards and continued selection for resistant material where feasible (Dwinell et al., 1985; Rockwood et al., 1988).
In landscape situations, non-pines or less susceptible pine species should be selected for planting in affected areas. For example, in California, several exotic pine species that are suitable for a Mediterranean climate are less susceptible than the native species (Gordon et al., 1998a).
No practical biological control programme exists for pitch canker. Although strains of a bacterium (Arthrobacter sp.) have been identified which are antagonistic to G. circinata in vitro, they were not found to control pitch canker in the field (Barrows-Broaddus et al., 1983; Barrows-Broaddus et al., 1985). Fusarium moniliforme [Gibberella fujikuroi] was found to be a competitive colonizer of wounds, making it a good candidate to protect wounds from infection. However, it is also a weak pathogen of seedlings (Dwinell et al., 1985).
As is generally the case with diseases of trees, there are no realistic therapeutic options for dealing with pitch canker. Fungicides with activity against the pathogen are available, so, in principle, trees could be protected from infection. However, maintaining a sufficiently high concentration of the active ingredient on all susceptible surfaces would be problematic, even if cost were not a consideration. Therefore, in forest, landscape, and plantation situations, chemical control of pitch canker is not practised.
Chemical control might be feasible in more intensively managed systems such as nurseries and Christmas tree farms. Under nursery conditions, fungicides might be exploited to prevent infection of seedlings. For example, pre-plant treatment of Pinus palustris seeds with thiabendazole-dimethyl sulfoxide has been demonstrated to increase germination and seedling survival (Runion and Bruck, 1988). In a field trial in North Carolina, USA, treatment of 1-year-old P. taeda seedlings with thiabendazole reduced terminal shoot infections (Runion et al., 1993). Various biocidal treatments can be applied to the soil to eliminate the pathogen. On Christmas tree farms, the sites of diseased, removed trees should be treated to eliminate the pathogen from the soil. Broad-spectrum biocides such as metham sodium [metam] have been used for this purpose. When the treated site is eventually replanted, trees should be closely monitored for the appearance of pitch canker symptoms. If the disease reappears, the same procedure should be repeated.
The use of insecticides such as chlorpyrifos to control insect pests may indirectly reduce pitch canker infections by reducing the number of wounding agents and vectors (Dwinell et al., 1985; Runion et al., 1993). In general, however, chemical control of vectors would be economically unfeasible and not very effective. Furthermore, in some areas insect vectors are native pine associates that contribute to the process of decomposition.
ReferencesTop of page
Barrows-Broaddus J; Dwinell LD, 1984. Variation in susceptibility to the pitch canker fungus among half-sib and full-sib families of Virginia pine. Phytopathology, 74(4):438-444; [3 fig., 4 tab.]; 32 ref.
Barrows-Broaddus J; Dwinell LD, 1985. Branch dieback and cone and seed infection caused by Fusarium moniliforme var. subglutinans in a loblolly pine seed orchard in South Carolina. Phytopathology, 75(10):1104-1108; [3 fig., 2 tab.]; 17 ref.
Barrows-Broaddus J; Dwinell LD; Kerr TJ, 1985. Evaluation of Arthrobacter sp. for biological control of the pitch canker fungus (Fusarium moniliforme var. subglutinans) on slash pine. Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 31(10):888-892; [2 fig., 2 tab.]; 19 ref.
Barrows-Broaddus J; Teeslink SD; Kerr TJ, 1983. Characterization of Arthobacter strains isolated from the pine environment that inhibit Fusarium moniliforme var. subglutinans, the causal agent of pine pitch canker. Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 29(10):1382-1389; [1 fig., 3 tab.]; 35 ref.
Barrows-Broaddus JB, 1987. Pitch canker. In: Sutherland JR, Miller T, Quinard RS, eds. Cone and Seed Diseases of North American Conifers. Victoria, British Columbia, Canada: North American Forestry Commision, Publ. No. 1, 42-49.
Blakeslee GM; Miller T; Oak SW; Barnard EL, 1981. Pitch canker causes late season mortality of seedlings in forest tree nurseries. Phytopathology, 71:204.
Britz H; Coutinho TA; Wingfield MJ; Marasas WFO, 1999. Population structure of Fusarium circinatum in South Africa. Phytopathology, 89:S9.
Britz H; Coutinho TA; Wingfield MJ; Marasas WFO, 2002. Validation of the description of Gibberella circinata and morphological differentiation of the anamorph Fusarium circinatum. Sydowia, 54(1):9-22; 21 ref.
Britz H; Coutinho TA; Wingfield MJ; Marasas WFO; Gordon TR; Leslie JF, 1999. Fusarium subglutinans f.sp. pini represents a distinct mating population in the Gibberella fujikuroi species complex. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 65(3):1198-1201; 37 ref.
Carlucci, A., Colatruglio, L., Frisullo, S., 2007. First report of pitch canker caused by Fusarium circinatum on Pinus halepensis and P. pinea in Apulia (Southern Italy). Plant Disease, 91(12), 1683. doi: 10.1094/PDIS-91-12-1683C
Correll JC; Gordon TR; McCain AH; Fox JW; Koehler CS; Wood DL; Schultz ME, 1991. Pitch canker disease in California: pathogenicity, distribution, and canker development on Monterey pine (Pinus radiata). Plant Disease, 75(7):676-682; 33 ref.
Coutinho, T. A., Steenkamp, E. T., Mongwaketsi, K., Wilmot, M., Wingfield, M. J., 2007. First outbreak of pitch canker in a South African pine plantation. Australasian Plant Pathology, 36(3), 256-261. doi: 10.1071/AP07017
Dwinell LD, 1999. Association of the pitch canker fungus with cones and seeds of pines. In: Devey ME, Matheson AC, Gordon TR, eds. Current and Potential Impacts of Pitch Canker in Radiata Pine, Proceedings of the IMPACT Monterey Workshop, Monterey, CA, USA: CSIRO Australia, 35-39.
Dwinell LD, 1999. Global distribution of the pitch canker fungus. In: Devey ME, Matheson AC, Gordon TR, eds. Current and Potential Impacts of Pitch Canker in Radiata Pine, Proceedings of the IMPACT Monterey Workshop, Monterey, CA, USA: CSIRO Australia, 54-57.
Dwinell LD; Kuhlman EG; Blakeslee GM, 1981. Pitch canker of southern pines. In: Nelson PE, Toussoun TA, Cook RJ, eds. Fusarium: Diseases, Biology, and Taxonomy. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 457.
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
Fisher NL; Marasas WFO; Toussoun TA, 1983. Taxonomic importance of microconidial chains in Fusarium section Liseola and effects of water potential on their formation. Mycologia, 75(4):693-698; [1 fig., 2 tab.]; 12 ref.
Garbelotto, M., Schweigkofler, W., Shaw, D., 2007. First report of Fusarium circinatum, causal agent of pitch canker disease, from the roots of mature Aleppo pines in California. Plant Health Progress, (February), 1-2.
Gordon TR; Wikler KR; Clark SL; Okamoto D; Storer AJ; Bonello P; Gordon TR; Wikler KR; Clark SL; Okamoto D; Storer AJ; Bonello P, 1998. Resistance to pitch canker disease, caused by Fusarium subglutinans f.sp. pini, in Monterey pine (Pinus radiata). Plant Pathology, 47(6):706-711; 15 ref.
Guerra-Santos JJ, 1999. Pitch canker on Monterey pine in Mexico. In: Devey ME, Matheson AC, Gordon TR, eds. Current and Potential Impacts of Pitch Canker in Radiata Pine, Proceedings of the IMPACT Monterey Workshop, Monterey, CA, USA: CSIRO Australia, 58-61.
Han KyungSook; Park JongHan; Back ChangGi; Park MiJeong, 2015. First report of Fusarium subglutinans causing leaf spot disease on Cymbidium orchids in Korea. Mycobiology, 43(3):343-346. http://mycobiology.or.kr/search.php?where=aview&id=10.5941/MYCO.2015.43.3.343&code=0184MB&vmode=FULL
Hepting GH; Roth ER, 1946. Pitch canker, a new disease of some southern pines. Journal of Forestry, 44:742-744.
Hepting GH; Roth ER, 1953. Host relations and spread of the pine pitch canker disease. Phytopathology, 43:475.
IPPC, 2016. Information on Pest Status in the Republic of Lithuania in 2015. IPPC Official Pest Report, No. LTU-01/2. Rome, Italy: FAO. https://www.ippc.int/
Jacobs, A., Coutinho, T. A., Wingfield, M. J., Ahumada, R., Wingfield, B. D., 2007. Characterization of the pitch canker fungus, Fusarium circinatum, from Chile. South African Journal of Science, 103(5/6), 253-257. http://thor.sabinet.co.za/WebZ/AdvancedQuery?sessionid=01-37342-1003983180&termA=2007&indexA=py%3A&termB=5&indexB=so%3A&format=B&advancednumrecs=50&entitytoprecno=1&entitycurrecno=1&entitytempjds&dbgroup=sajscig&next=sajs/sajs_abresult.html&bad=error/badsearchframe.html
Kelley WD, 1982. Pine hosts of the pitch canker fungus Fusarium moniliforme var. subglutinans in Alabama seed orchards. Phytopathology, 72:170.
Kobayashi T; Kawabe Y, 1992. Tree diseases and their causal fungi in Miyako Island. Japanese Journal of Tropical Agriculture, 36:195-206.
Kuhlman EG; Dianis SD; Smith TK, 1982. Epidemiology of pitch canker disease in a loblolly pine seed orchard in North Carolina. Phytopathology, 72:1212-1216.
Landeras, E., García, P., Fernández, Y., Braña, M., Fernández-Alonso, O., Méndez-Lodos, S., Pérez-Sierra, A., León, M., Abad-Campos, P., Berbegal, M., Beltrán, R., García-Jiménez, J., Armengol, J., 2005. Outbreak of pitch canker caused by Fusarium circinatum on Pinus spp. in Northern Spain. Plant Disease, 89(9), 1015. doi: 10.1094/PD-89-1015A
Leslie JF, 1995. Gibberella fujikuroi: available populations and variable traits. Canadian Journal of Botany, 73:S282-S291.
McCay-Buis TS; Abney TS; Cummings RB; Huber DM, 1994. Pitch canker disease of white pine seedlings in Indiana. Phytopathology, 84:1122.
McNee WR; Wood DL; Storer AJ; Gordon TR, 2002. Incidence of the pitch canker pathogen and associated insects in intact and chipped Monterey pine branches. Canadian Entomologist, 134:47-58.
Miller T; Bramlett DL, 1979. Damage to reproductive structures of slash pine by two seed-borne pathogens: Diplodia gossypina and Fusarium moniliforme var. subglutinans. In: Bonner F, ed. Proceedings of Flowering and Seed Development in Trees: a Symposium, New Orleans, USA: United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station, 347-355.
Miller T; Dwinell LD; Barrows-Broaddus JB; Alexander SA, 1984. Disease Management in Southern Pine seed orchards. In: Branham SJ, Hertel GD, eds. Integrated Forest Pest Management Symposium: The Proceedings, Athens, GA, USA: United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, 179-186.
Muramoto M; Tashiro T; Minamihashi H, 1993. Distribution of Fusarium moniliforme var. subglutinans in Kagoshima Prefecture and its pathogenicity to pines. Journal of the Japanese Forestry Society, 75(1):1-9; 10 ref.
Nelson PE; Toussoun TA; Marasas WFO, 1983. Fusarium Species: An Illustrated Manual for Identification. University Park, USA: Pennsylvania State University Press.
Pérez-Sierra, A., Landeras, E., León, M., Berbegal, M., García-Jiménez, J., Armengol, J., 2007. Characterization of Fusarium circinatum from Pinus spp. in northern Spain. Mycological Research, 111(7), 832-839. doi: 10.1016/j.mycres.2007.05.009
Pfenning, L. H., Costa, S. da S., Melo, M. P. de, Costa, H., Ventura, J. A., Auer, C. G., Santos, Á. F. dos, 2014. First report and characterization of Fusarium circinatum, the causal agent of pitch canker in Brazil. Tropical Plant Pathology, 39(3), 210-216. doi: 10.1590/S1982-56762014000300004
Runion GB; Bruck RI, 1988. Effects of thiabendazole-DMSO treatment of longleaf pine seed contaminated with Fusarium subglutinans on germination and seedling survival. Plant Disease, 72(10):872-874; 22 ref.
Snyder WC; Toole ER; Hepting GH, 1949. Fusaria associated with mimosa, sumac wilt, and pine pitch canker. Journal of Agricultural Research, 78:365-382.
Steenkamp ET; Wingfield BD; Coutinho TA; Wingfield MJ; Marasas WFO, 1999. Differentiation of Fusarium subglutinans f.sp. pini by histone gene sequence data. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 65(8):3401-3406; 39 ref.
Storer AJ; Bonello P; Gordon TR; Wood DL, 1999. Evidence of resistance to the pitch canker pathogen (Fusarium circinatum) in native stands of Monterey pine (Pinus radiata). Forest Science, 45(4):500-505; 22 ref.
Storer AJ; Gordon TR; Clark SL, 1998. Association of the pitch canker fungus, Fusarium subglutinans f.sp. pini, with Monterey pine seeds and seedlings in California. Plant Pathology, 47(5):649-656; 42 ref.
Swett CL; Gordon TR, 2012. First report of grass species (Poaceae) as naturally occurring hosts of the pine pathogen Gibberella circinata. Plant Disease, 96(6):908. http://apsjournals.apsnet.org/loi/pdis
Templeton SR; Wood DL; Storer AJ; Gordon TR, 1997. Economic damages of pitch canker. Fremontia, 25:10-14.
Vogler, D. R., Gordon, T. R., Aegerter, B. J., Kirkpatrick, S. C., Lunak, G. A., Stover, P., Violett, P., 2004. First report of the pitch canker fungus (Fusarium circinatum) in the Sierra Nevada of California. Plant Disease, 88(7), 772. http://www.apsnet.org
Wikler, K., Storer, A. J., Newman, W., Gordon, T. R., Wood, D. L., 2003. The dynamics of an introduced pathogen in a native Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) forest. Forest Ecology and Management, 179(1/3), 209-221. doi: 10.1016/S0378-1127(02)00524-8
Barrows-Broaddus J, Dwinell L D, 1984. Variation in susceptibility to the pitch canker fungus among half-sib and full-sib families of Virginia pine. Phytopathology. 74 (4), 438-444. DOI:10.1094/Phyto-74-438
Barrows-Broaddus JB, 1987. Pitch canker. In: Cone and Seed Diseases of North American Conifers, [ed. by Sutherland JR, Miller T, Quinard RS]. Victoria, British Columbia, Canada: North American Forestry Commision, Publ. No. 1. 42-49.
Britz H, Coutinho TA, Wingfield MJ, Marasas WFO, 1999. Population structure of Fusarium circinatum in South Africa. In: Phytopathology, 89 S9.
CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Carlucci A, Colatruglio L, Frisullo S, 2007. First report of pitch canker caused by Fusarium circinatum on Pinus halepensis and P. pinea in Apulia (Southern Italy). Plant Disease. 91 (12), 1683. DOI:10.1094/PDIS-91-12-1683C
Correll J C, Gordon T R, McCain A H, Fox J W, Koehler C S, Wood D L, Schultz M E, 1991. Pitch canker disease in California: pathogenicity, distribution, and canker development on Monterey pine (Pinus radiata). Plant Disease. 75 (7), 676-682. DOI:10.1094/PD-75-0676
Coutinho T A, Steenkamp E T, Mongwaketsi K, Wilmot M, Wingfield M J, 2007. First outbreak of pitch canker in a South African pine plantation. Australasian Plant Pathology. 36 (3), 256-261. DOI:10.1071/AP07017
Dwinell LD, 1999. Global distribution of the pitch canker fungus. [Current and Potential Impacts of Pitch Canker in Radiata Pine, Proceedings of the IMPACT Monterey Workshop], [ed. by Devey ME, Matheson AC, Gordon TR]. Monterey, CA, USA: CSIRO Australia. 54-57.
Garbelotto M, Schweigkofler W, Shaw D, 2007. First report of Fusarium circinatum, causal agent of pitch canker disease, from the roots of mature Aleppo pines in California. Plant Health Progress. 1-2.
Guerra-Santos JJ, 1999. Pitch canker on Monterey pine in Mexico. In: Current and Potential Impacts of Pitch Canker in Radiata Pine [Proceedings of the IMPACT Monterey Workshop, Monterey, CA, USA], [ed. by Devey ME, Matheson AC, Gordon TR]. CSIRO Australia. 58-61.
Han KyungSook, Park JongHan, Back ChangGi, Park MiJeong, 2015. First report of Fusarium subglutinans causing leaf spot disease on Cymbidium orchids in Korea. Mycobiology. 43 (3), 343-346. http://mycobiology.or.kr/search.php?where=aview&id=10.5941/MYCO.2015.43.3.343&code=0184MB&vmode=FULL
IPPC, 2016. Information on Pest Status in the Republic of Lithuania in 2015. In: IPPC Official Pest Report, No. LTU-01/2, Rome, Italy: FAO. https://www.ippc.int/
Jacobs A, Coutinho T A, Wingfield M J, Ahumada R, Wingfield B D, 2007. Characterization of the pitch canker fungus, Fusarium circinatum, from Chile. South African Journal of Science. 103 (5/6), 253-257. http://thor.sabinet.co.za/WebZ/AdvancedQuery?sessionid=01-37342-1003983180&termA=2007&indexA=py%3A&termB=5&indexB=so%3A&format=B&advancednumrecs=50&entitytoprecno=1&entitycurrecno=1&entitytempjds&dbgroup=sajscig&next=sajs/sajs_abresult.html&bad=error/badsearchframe.html
Kelley WD, 1982. Pine hosts of the pitch canker fungus Fusarium moniliforme var. subglutinans in Alabama seed orchards. In: Phytopathology, 72 170.
Kobayashi T, Kawabe Y, 1992. Tree diseases and their causal fungi in Miyako Island. In: Japanese Journal of Tropical Agriculture, 36 195-206.
Kuhlman EG, Dianis SD, Smith TK, 1982. Epidemiology of pitch canker disease in a loblolly pine seed orchard in North Carolina. In: Phytopathology, 72 1212-1216.
Landeras E, García P, Fernández Y, Braña M, Fernández-Alonso O, Méndez-Lodos S, Pérez-Sierra A, León M, Abad-Campos P, Berbegal M, Beltrán R, García-Jiménez J, Armengol J, 2005. Outbreak of pitch canker caused by Fusarium circinatum on Pinus spp. in Northern Spain. Plant Disease. 89 (9), 1015. DOI:10.1094/PD-89-1015A
McCay-Buis TS, Abney TS, Cummings RB, Huber DM, 1994. Pitch canker disease of white pine seedlings in Indiana. In: Phytopathology, 84 1122.
Muramoto M, Tashiro T, Minamihashi H, 1993. Distribution of Fusarium moniliforme var. subglutinans in Kagoshima Prefecture and its pathogenicity to pines. Journal of the Japanese Forestry Society. 75 (1), 1-9.
NPPO of the Netherlands, 2013. Pest status of harmful organisms in the Netherlands., Wageningen, Netherlands:
Pérez-Sierra A, Landeras E, León M, Berbegal M, García-Jiménez J, Armengol J, 2007. Characterization of Fusarium circinatum from Pinus spp. in northern Spain. Mycological Research. 111 (7), 832-839. DOI:10.1016/j.mycres.2007.05.009
Pfenning L H, Costa S da S, Melo M P de, Costa H, Ventura J A, Auer C G, Santos Á F dos, 2014. First report and characterization of Fusarium circinatum, the causal agent of pitch canker in Brazil. Tropical Plant Pathology. 39 (3), 210-216. DOI:10.1590/S1982-56762014000300004
Swett C L, Gordon T R, 2012. First report of grass species (Poaceae) as naturally occurring hosts of the pine pathogen Gibberella circinata. Plant Disease. 96 (6), 908. http://apsjournals.apsnet.org/loi/pdis DOI:10.1094/PDIS-02-12-0136-PDN
Vogler D R, Gordon T R, Aegerter B J, Kirkpatrick S C, Lunak G A, Stover P, Violett P, 2004. First report of the pitch canker fungus (Fusarium circinatum) in the Sierra Nevada of California. Plant Disease. 88 (7), 772. http://www.apsnet.org
Wikler K, Storer A J, Newman W, Gordon T R, Wood D L, 2003. The dynamics of an introduced pathogen in a native Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) forest. Forest Ecology and Management. 179 (1/3), 209-221. DOI:10.1016/S0378-1127(02)00524-8
Wingfield M J, Jacobs A, Coutinho T A, Ahumada R, Wingfield B D, 2002. First report of the pitch canker fungus, Fusarium circinatum, on pines in Chile. Plant Pathology. 51 (3), 397. DOI:10.1046/j.1365-3059.2002.00710.x
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