The progression of events in the development of pine wilt disease following the invasion by Bursaphelenchus xylophilus is reviewed from early migration through pine tissues until symptom development on foliage. Disease resistance in pines, especially the hypersensitive reaction that is successful in controlling many potential pests and pathogens, is explored. Pathologies resulting from the activities of pinewood nematode include cortical trails and cavities; formation of cambial gaps and traumatic resin cysts; browning and death of cortex, phloem, cambium, and ray tissues; granulation and shrinkage of cell cytoplasm in rays; and destruction of resin canal epithelial and ray parenchyma cells. Death of parenchyma, production of toxins, and leakage of oleoresins and other material into tracheids are typical of the hypersensitive reaction occurring in pines following migration of small numbers of pinewood nematodes. The hypothesis presented is that a spreading hypersensitive reaction results in some of the observed pathologies and symptoms and eventually causes pine death. The growth-differentiation balance hypothesis is used to help explain predisposition, oleoresin production and toxicity, susceptibility and resistance, and the effects of variation in climate on host pines as related to pinewilt disease.
Bursaphelenchus xylophilus; pathogenesis; pathology; pine wilt disease; pinewood nematode
Mature trees of eastern white, jack, Scotch, and shortleaf pines were inoculated with 25,000-34,000 pinewood nematodes, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, isolated from infected Scotch pines in Missouri. Equal numbers of trees of each species inoculated with distilled water served as controls. Nine of fifteen Scotch pines died within 4 months of nematode infection or during the winter and early spring following infection. A single eastern white and shortleaf pine died. No jack pines died. A single Scotch pine control died, apparently the result of natural nematode infection. No other controls died. Mean oleoresin flow did not differ among nematode-inoculated jack and shortleaf pines and their respective controls. Oleoresin flow in nematode-inoculated eastern white and Scotch pines was significantly lower than in their controls. Oleoresin flow was temporarily reduced in mortality-resistant eastern white and Scotch pines following nematode infection. Thus a sublethal impact of nematode infection on mortality-resistant host trees was documented.
Bursaphelenchus xylophilus; Monochamus carolinensis; mortality; oleoresin; pinewood nematode; Pinus banksiana; Pinus echinata; Pinus strobus; Pinus sylvestris; resistance
The pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, was inoculated into established native jack and red pines (Pinus banksiana and P. resinosa) and exotic Austrian pine (P. nigra) in Minnesota and Wisconsin forests during summer 1981. The nematode isolates did not kill established nonstressed pine trees growing in the forest. However, the same nematode isolates killed pine seedlings under greenhouse conditions. Girdling the main stem of some trees to induce stress resulted in the death of the majority of inoculated and noninoculated branches of Austrian and jack pines, but no branch death was observed on red pine. Greater numbers of nematodes were extracted from branches of inoculated, girdled trees than from nongirdled trees. The mean number of nematodes extracted from branches of inoculated, nongirdled trees was 0.3 - 14 nematodes per gram of wood.
pinewood nematode; Pinus banksiana; P. resinosa; P. nigra
• Background and Aims The effect of heating and cooling on cambial activity and cell differentiation in part of the stem of Norway spruce (Picea abies) was investigated.
• Methods A heating experiment (23–25 °C) was carried out in spring, before normal reactivation of the cambium, and cooling (9–11 °C) at the height of cambial activity in summer. The cambium, xylem and phloem were investigated by means of light- and transmission electron microscopy and UV-microspectrophotometry in tissues sampled from living trees.
• Key Results Localized heating for 10 d initiated cambial divisions on the phloem side and after 20 d also on the xylem side. In a control tree, regular cambial activity started after 30 d. In the heat-treated sample, up to 15 earlywood cells undergoing differentiation were found to be present. The response of the cambium to stem cooling was less pronounced, and no anatomical differences were detected between the control and cool-treated samples after 10 or 20 d. After 30 d, latewood started to form in the sample exposed to cooling. In addition, almost no radially expanding tracheids were observed and the cambium consisted of only five layers of cells. Low temperatures reduced cambial activity, as indicated by the decreased proportion of latewood. On the phloem side, no alterations were observed among cool-treated and non-treated samples.
• Conclusions Heating and cooling can influence cambial activity and cell differentiation in Norway spruce. However, at the ultrastructural and topochemical levels, no changes were observed in the pattern of secondary cell-wall formation and lignification or in lignin structure, respectively.
Norway spruce; Picea abies; cambium; xylem; phloem; cell differentiation; heating; cooling; light microscopy; transmission electron microscopy; UV-microspectrophotometry
The pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is one of the greatest threats to coniferous forests worldwide, causing severe ecological damage and economic loss. The biology of B. xylophilus is similar to that of its closest relative, B. mucronatus, as both species share food resources and insect vectors, and have very similar morphological characteristics, although little pathogenicity to conifers has been associated with B. mucronatus. Using both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers, we show that B. xylophilus and B. mucronatus form distinct phylogenetic groups with contrasting phylogeographic patterns. B. xylophilus presents lower levels of intraspecific diversity than B. mucronatus, as expected for a species that evolved relatively recently through geographical or reproductive isolation. Genetic diversity was particularly low in recently colonised areas, such as in southwestern Europe. By contrast, B. mucronatus displays high levels of genetic diversity and two well-differentiated clades in both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA phylogenies. The lack of correlation between genetic and geographic distances in B. mucronatus suggests intense gene flow among distant regions, a phenomenon that may have remained unnoticed due to the reduced pathogenicity of the species. Overall, our findings suggest that B. xylophilus and B. mucronatus have different demographic histories despite their morphological resemblance and ecological overlap. These results suggest that Bursaphelenchus species are a valuable model for understanding the dispersion of invasive species and the risks posed to native biodiversity and ecosystems.
Etiological studies to determine the cause of decline and death of Pinus spp. in Delaware were initiated in 1980. The pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, was found to be the major canse of mortality in Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii). When inoculated into healthy 5-yr-old Japanese black pines, B. xylophilus produced typical decline symptoms observed in the field. The xylophilous fungi most often associated with declining trees, Rhizosphaera pini, Fusarium spp., and Pestalotia funerea, were not pathogenic to Japanese black pine in greenhouse tests. Mineral analyses of soil and foliage showed no significant differences between healthy and infested trees. B. xylolyhilus was also found on loblolly pine (P. taeda), scrub pine (P. virginiana), Scots pine (P. sylvestris), red pine (P. resinosa), Eastern white pine (P. strobus), and pitch pine (P. rigida).
pinewood nematode; Japanese black pine
Background and Aims
Cambial reactivation in trees occurs from late winter to early spring when photosynthesis is minimal or almost non-existent. Reserve materials might be important for wood formation in trees. The localization and approximate levels of starch and lipids (as droplets) and number of starch granules in cambium and phloem were examined from cambial dormancy to the start of xylem differentiation in locally heated stems of Cryptomeria japonica trees in winter.
Electric heating tape was wrapped on one side of the stem of Cryptomeria japonica trees at breast height in winter. The localization and approximate levels of starch and lipids (as droplets) and number of starch granules were determined by image analysis of optical digital images obtained by confocal laser scanning microscopy.
Localized heating induced earlier cambial reactivation and xylem differentiation in stems of Cryptomeria japonica, as compared with non-heated stems. There were clear changes in the respective localizations and levels of starch and lipids (as droplets) determined in terms of relative areas on images, from cambial dormancy to the start of xylem differentiation in heated stems. In heated stems, the levels and number of starch granules fell from cambial reactivation to the start of xylem differentiation. There was a significant decrease in the relative area occupied by lipid droplets in the cambium from cambial reactivation to the start of xylem differentiation in heated stems.
The results showed clearly that the levels and number of storage starch granules in cambium and phloem cells and levels of lipids (as droplets) in the cambium decreased from cambial reactivation to the start of xylem differentiation in heated stems during the winter. The observations suggest that starch and lipid droplets might be needed as sources of energy for the initiation of cambial cell division and the differentiation of xylem in Cryptomeria japonica.
Cambial reactivation; confocal laser scanning microscopy; Cryptomeria japonica; lipid; starch; xylem differentiation
Background and Aims
The timing of cambial reactivation plays an important role in the control of both the quantity and the quality of wood. The effect of localized heating on cambial reactivation in the main stem of a deciduous hardwood hybrid poplar (Populus sieboldii × P. grandidentata) was investigated.
Electric heating tape (20–22 °C) was wrapped at one side of the main stem of cloned hybrid poplar trees at breast height in winter. Small blocks were collected from both heated and non-heated control portions of the stem for sequential observations of cambial activity and for studies of the localization of storage starch around the cambium from dormancy to reactivation by light microscopy.
Cell division in phloem began earlier than cambial reactivation in locally heated portions of stems. Moreover, the cambial reactivation induced by localized heating occurred earlier than natural cambial reactivation. In heated stems, well-developed secondary xylem was produced that had almost the same structure as the natural xylem. When cambial reactivation was induced by heating, the buds of trees had not yet burst, indicating that there was no close temporal relationship between bud burst and cambial reactivation. In heated stems, the amount of storage starch decreased near the cambium upon reactivation of the cambium. After cambial reactivation, storage starch disappeared completely. Storage starch appeared again, near the cambium, during xylem differentiation in heated stems.
The results suggest that, in deciduous diffuse-porous hardwood poplar growing in a temperate zone, the temperature in the stem is a limiting factor for reactivation of phloem and cambium. An increase in temperature might induce the conversion of storage starch to sucrose for the activation of cambial cell division and secondary xylem. Localized heating in poplar stems provides a useful experimental system for studies of cambial biology.
Populus sieboldii × Populus grandidentata; localized heating, cambial reactivation; model system; storage starch; xylem differentiation
Background and Aims
Cambium reactivation after dormancy and budbreak in deciduous trees requires a supply of mobilized reserve materials. The pathway and mode of transfer of these materials are poorly understood.
Transport of reserve materials during cambium reactivation in Populus nigra was investigated by conventional and immunocytochemical TEM analyses, SDS–PAGE, western blotting and intracellular microinjection of fluorescent dyes.
Proteinaceous compounds stored in vacuoles and protein bodies of vascular cells and ray cells disappeared within 3 weeks after cambial reactivation and budbreak. Some of these proteins (32 kDa, 30 kDa and 15 kDa) were labelled by lectin antibodies in SDS–PAGE. The same antibodies were localized to plasmodesmata (PDs) between phloem parenchyma, ray cells and fusiform cambial cells. In addition, proteinaceous particles were localized inside the cytoplasmic sleeves of these PDs during budbreak. During this period, the functional diameter of PDs was about 2·2 nm which corresponds approximately to the Stokes' radius of the detected 15-kDa protein.
Lectin-like reserve proteins or their degradation products seem to be transferred through PDs of phloem parenchyma and rays during cambial reactivation and budbreak. PD transfer of storage proteins is a novelty which supports the concept of symplasmic nutrient supply to the cambial region.
Cambial region; lectins; plasmodesmal trafficking; Populus nigra ‘italica’; size exclusion limit; storage proteins; vascular tissues
Pine wilt disease (PWD), caused by the pinewood nematode (PWN; Bursaphelenchus xylophilus), damages and kills pine trees and is causing serious economic damage worldwide. Although the ecological mechanism of infestation is well described, the plant’s molecular response to the pathogen is not well known. This is due mainly to the lack of genomic information and the complexity of the disease. High throughput sequencing is now an efficient approach for detecting the expression of genes in non-model organisms, thus providing valuable information in spite of the lack of the genome sequence. In an attempt to unravel genes potentially involved in the pine defense against the pathogen, we hereby report the high throughput comparative sequence analysis of infested and non-infested stems of Pinus pinaster (very susceptible to PWN) and Pinus pinea (less susceptible to PWN).
Four cDNA libraries from infested and non-infested stems of P. pinaster and P. pinea were sequenced in a full 454 GS FLX run, producing a total of 2,083,698 reads. The putative amino acid sequences encoded by the assembled transcripts were annotated according to Gene Ontology, to assign Pinus contigs into Biological Processes, Cellular Components and Molecular Functions categories. Most of the annotated transcripts corresponded to Picea genes-25.4-39.7%, whereas a smaller percentage, matched Pinus genes, 1.8-12.8%, probably a consequence of more public genomic information available for Picea than for Pinus. The comparative transcriptome analysis showed that when P. pinaster was infested with PWN, the genes malate dehydrogenase, ABA, water deficit stress related genes and PAR1 were highly expressed, while in PWN-infested P. pinea, the highly expressed genes were ricin B-related lectin, and genes belonging to the SNARE and high mobility group families. Quantitative PCR experiments confirmed the differential gene expression between the two pine species.
Defense-related genes triggered by nematode infestation were detected in both P. pinaster and P. pinea transcriptomes utilizing 454 pyrosequencing technology. P. pinaster showed higher abundance of genes related to transcriptional regulation, terpenoid secondary metabolism (including some with nematicidal activity) and pathogen attack. P. pinea showed higher abundance of genes related to oxidative stress and higher levels of expression in general of stress responsive genes. This study provides essential information about the molecular defense mechanisms utilized by P. pinaster and P. pinea against PWN infestation and contributes to a better understanding of PWD.
Ribosomal DNA region sequences (partial 18S, 28S and complete ITS1, 5.8S, and ITS2) of the pinewood nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) were obtained from DNA extracted directly from wood pieces collected from wilted pine trees throughout the Kyushu and Okinawa islands, Japan. Either a 2569bp or 2573bp sequence was obtained from 88 of 143 samples. Together with the 45 rDNA sequences of pinewood nematode isolates previously reported, there were eight single nucleotide polymorphisms and two indels of two bases. Based on these mutations, nine haplotypes were estimated. The haplotype frequencies differed among regions in Kyushu island (northwest, northeast and center, southeast, and southwest), and the distribution was consistent with the invasion and spreading routes of the pinewood nematode previously estimated from past records of pine wilt and wood importation. There was no significant difference in haplotype frequencies among the collection sites on Okinawa island.
Bursaphelenchus xylophilus; haplotype; invasive species; pine wilt disease; pinewood nematode; rDNA; spread route
Maximum and minimum xylem pressure potentials of needles were measured to evaluate water status of Pinus thunbergii Parl. after inoculation with the virulent or avirulent populations of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus or B. mucronatus. In virulent B. xylophilus-inoculated pines, the water status changed abruptly and needle chlorosis occurred by day 29 after inoculation. Similar changes were not seen in B. mucronatus-inoculated and uninoculated control pines. Oleoresin flow ceased in virulent B. xylophilus-inoculated pines. Avirulent B. xylophilus-inoculated pines responded very little to nematode invasion by a slight decrease in oleoresin flow. Oleoresin flow did not vary in B. mucronatus-inoculated and uninoculated control pines. A decrease in soil water potential below field capacity seemed to accelerate the development of pine wilt disease.
avirulent population; Bursaphelenchus mucronatus; B. xylophilus; oleoresin flow; pine wilt disease; pinewood nematode; Pinus thunbergii; soil water potential; virulent population; water status; xylem pressure potential
To determine the effect of soil environment on the life stages and total numbers of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, nematode-infested wood chips alone and mixed with soil were incubated at 12 and 20 C. Nematodes were extracted at 2-week intervals for 12 weeks. Numbers of nematodes and percentage of third-stage dispersal larvae were greater at 12 C and in chips without soil. Percentage of juveniles of the propagative cycle was greater at 20 C and in chips with soil. Although B. xylophilus survived in chips with soil for 12 weeks, nematode numbers and life stage percentages changed little over time. To determine if B. xylophilus was capable of infecting wounded roots, infested and uninfested chips were mixed with soil in pots with white and Scots pine seedlings. Trees were maintained at 20 and 30 C and harvested at mortality or after 12 weeks. Only seedlings treated with infested chips contained nematodes. In field experiments, planted seedlings were mulched with infested chips to determine if nematodes would invade basal stem wounds. Among these trees, Scots pine was more susceptible than white or red pines to infection and mortality.
Bursaphelenchus xylophilus; nematode; pine; pinewood nematode; Pinus strobus; P. sylvestris; root; soil; temperature; wood chip
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was applied to paraffin-embedded wood sections to study the histopathology of pine seedlings inoculated with the pinewood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. The sections, which had been previously prepared and observed by light microscopy (LM) on glass slides, were originally obtained from experiments in which pine seedlings had been inoculated with PWN. The cover glass was removed by soaking the glass slide in xylene for 3 to 5 days. The glass slides were cut into small pieces so that each piece contained one wood section. Each piece of the glass slide was attached with double adhesive tape to an aluminum stub. The specimens were sputter-coated with gold and examined with a scanning electron microscope (JEOL-JSM 5200). Compared to LM (as documented in previous reports) SEM provided greater depth of focus and resolution of the damaged wood tissues, nematodes and associated bacteria. SEM made it possible to observe the relationship between bacterial distribution and nematode distribution in wood tissues. SEM observations also suggested the possibility of documenting the death of ray cells and other parenchyma cells in relation to disease development. Finally, the current study of PWN in pine seedlings demonstrated that glass slides prepared for LM observations more than 25 years earlier could be successfully processed for examination by SEM.
bacterial mass; inoculation experiments; Pinus sp.; scanning electron microscopy; technique
Background and Aims
Studies on xylogenesis focus essentially on the stem, whereas there is basically no information about the intra-annual growth of other parts of the tree. As roots strongly influence carbon allocation and tree development, knowledge of the dynamics of xylem production and maturation in roots at a short time scale is required for a better understanding of the phenomenon of tree growth. This study compared cambial activity and xylem formation in stem and roots in two conifers of the boreal forest in Canada.
Wood microcores were collected weekly in stem and roots of ten Abies balsamea and ten Picea mariana during the 2004–2006 growing seasons. Cross-sections were cut using a rotary microtome, stained with cresyl violet acetate and observed under visible and polarized light. The number of cells in the cambial zone and in differentiation, plus the number of mature cells, was counted along the developing xylem.
Xylem formation lasted from the end of May to the end of September, with no difference between stem and roots in 2004–2005. On the contrary, in 2006 a 1-week earlier beginning of cell differentiation was observed in the stem, with cell wall thickening and lignification in roots ending up to 22 d later than in the stem. Cell production in the stem was concentrated early in the season, in June, while most cell divisions in roots occurred 1 month later.
The intra-annual dynamics of growth observed in stem and roots could be related to the different amount of cells produced by the cambium and the patterns of air and soil temperature occurring in spring.
Abies balsamea; boreal forest; cambium; cell differentiation; cell wall thickening; lignification; Picea mariana; root; stem; xylem
Red pines Pinus resinosa in Garrett and Allegany counties, Maryland, were examined during 1982-84 to determine distribution of the pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, within and among trees. Approximately 25-year-old (younger) and 47-year-old (older) trees were subdivided into the following categories: 1) trees with mostly green needles; 2) trees with mostly reddish-brown needles; 3) trees lacking needles but with bark intact; 4) trees lacking both needles and bark; and 5) trees with chlorotic, bleached-green needles. Bursaphelenchus xylophilus was found infecting 68% of younger red pines and 77% of older red pines. Nematodes were not evenly distributed in trees within any given tree decadence category or in trees of the same age. Nematodes were recovered from 20% of wood samples from trunks and primary and secondary branches in younger pines and from 15 % of older red pines. On the basis of tree decadence category, the highest incidence of infection in younger trees (31%) was in bleached-green needled trees (category 5), whereas in older trees the highest infection (25%) occurred in green needled trees (category 1). At both sites trunks were infected more often than branches.
Bursaphelenchus xylophilus; pinewood nematode; pinewih disease; Pinus resinosa; red pine
Pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is the causal agent of pine wilt disease in North America and Japan. Dispersal stage dauer larvae are transported to new host trees on the body surface and within the tracheal system of several beetle species. Worldwide, 21 species of Cerambycidae, 1 genus of Buprestidae, and 2 species of Curculionidae are known to carry pinewood nematode dauer larvae upon emerging from nematode-infested trees. Five species of cerambycids in the genus Monochamus are known to transmit dauer larvae to new host trees, four North American species and one Japanese species. Primary transmission to healthy trees occurs through beetle feeding wounds on young branches. Secondary transmission to stressed trees or recently cut logs occurs through Monochamus oviposition sites.
Bursaphelenchus xylophilus; Cerambycidae; insect vector; Monochamus alternatus; Monochamus carolinensis; Monochamus scutellatus; Monochamus titillator; pine sawyer; pine wilt disease; pinewood nematode; transmission
The relationship between stem CO2 efflux (ES), cambial activity and xylem production in Pinus cembra was determined at the timberline (1950 m a.s.l.) of the Central Austrian Alps, throughout one year. ES was measured continuously from June 2006 to August 2007 using an infrared gas-analysis system. Cambial activity and xylem production was determined by repeated microcore sampling of the developing tree ring and radial increment was monitored using automated point dendrometers. Aside of temperature, the number of living tracheids and cambial cells was predominantly responsible for ES: ES normalized to 10°C (ES10) was significantly correlated to number of living cells throughout the year (r2 = 0,574; p < 0,001). However, elevated ES and missing correlation between ES10 and xylem production was detected during cambial reactivation in April and during transition from active phase to rest, which occurred in August and lasted until early September. Results of this study indicate that (i) during seasonal variations in cambial activity non-linearity between ES and xylem production occurs and (ii) elevated metabolic activity during transition stages in the cambial activity-dormancy cycle influence the carbon budget of Pinus cembra. Daily radial stem increment was primarily influenced by the number of enlarging cells and was not correlated to ES.
cambial reactivation; dormancy; Pinus cembra; radial stem growth; sap flow; stem CO2 efflux; stem respiration; xylem production
Treatment of 3-year-old Scots, white, and Austrian pine seedlings with copper sulfate or lead acetate significantly affected energy homeostasis and oleoresin production in the seedlings but did not induce wilting of the seedlings. Inoculation of copper sulfate-treated or lead acetate-treated white, Scots, and Austrian pine seedlings with the white pine specific pathotype of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, VPSt-1, caused a significant increase in oleoresin production, stressed energy homeostasis, and induced rapid wilting of the seedlings. Scots pine lost tolerance and Austrian pine lost resistance to VPSt-1 after the seedlings were treated with either copper sulfate or lead acetate. These results suggest that environmental pollution may significantly affect susceptibility of pines to B. xylophilus and may have a role in establishment of this nematode in uninfested areas.
Bursaphelenchus xylophilus; copper; heavy metal; lead; pinewood nematode; pine wilt; Pinus nigra; P. strobus; P. sylvestris; resistance; susceptibility
Field-collected adults of the southern pine sawyer, Monochamus titillator (F.) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), naturally infested with fourth-stage juveniles (dauerlarvae) of the pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Steiner and Buhrer, 1934) Nickle, 1970, were maturation fed on excised shoots of typical slash pine, Pinus elliottii Engelm. var elliottii, for 21 days. During August 1981, a male and female adult beetle were held in a sleeve cage placed on the terminal of a side branch of each of seven replicate, healthy 10-year-old slash pine trees. All seven branch terminals showed evidence of beetle feeding on the bark after 1 week, and pinewood nematodes were present in wood samples taken near these feeding sites. Four of the seven trees showed wilt symptoms in 4-6 weeks and died about 9 weeks after beetle feeding. Pinewood nematodes were recovered from the roots and trunks of the dead trees. Each of seven replicate slash pine log bolts was enclosed in a jar with a pair of the same beetles used in the sleeve cages. After 1 week, wood underlying beetle oviposition sites in the bark of all replicate log bolts was infested with the pinewood nematode.
Bursaphelenchus xylophilus; Pinus elliottii; Monochamus titillator; maturation-feeding; oviposition
Background and Aims
Our knowledge about the influences of environmental factors on tree growth is principally based on the study of dominant trees. However, tree social status may influence intra-annual dynamics of growth, leading to differential responses to environmental conditions. The aim was to determine whether within-stand differences in stem diameters of trees belonging to different crown classes resulted from variations in the length of the growing period or in the rate of cell production.
Cambial activity was monitored weekly in 2006 for three crown classes in a 40-year-old silver-fir (Abies alba) plantation near Nancy (France). Timings, duration and rate of tracheid production were assessed from anatomical observations of the developing xylem.
Cambial activity started earlier, stopped later and lasted longer in dominant trees than in intermediate and suppressed ones. The onset of cambial activity was estimated to have taken 3 weeks to spread to 90 % of the trees in the stand, while the cessation needed 6 weeks. Cambial activity was more intense in dominant trees than in intermediate and suppressed ones. It was estimated that about 75 % of tree-ring width variability was attributable to the rate of cell production and only 25 % to its duration. Moreover, growth duration was correlated to tree height, while growth rate was better correlated to crown area.
These results show that, in a closed conifer forest, stem diameter variations resulted principally from differences in the rate of xylem cell production rather than in its duration. Tree size interacts with environmental factors to control the timings, duration and rate of cambial activity through functional processes involving source–sink relationships principally, but also hormonal controls.
Cambial activity; forest-stand structure; silver fir (Abies alba); tree-ring formation; tree-to-tree competition; social status; wood anatomy; xylem cell differentiation
The pinewood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, has been thought to be the only causal agent of pine wilt disease (PWD), however, since bacteria have been suggested to play a role in PWD, it is important to know the diversity of the microbial community associated to it. This study aimed to assess the microbial community associated with B. xylophilus and with other nematodes isolated from pine trees, Pinus pinaster, with PWD from three different affected forest areas in Portugal. One hundred and twenty three bacteria strains were isolated from PWN and other nematodes collected from 14 P. pinaster. The bacteria strains were identified by comparative analysis of the 16S rRNA gene partial sequence. All except one Gram-positive strain (Actinobacteria) belonged to the Gram-negative Beta and Gammaproteobacteria. Most isolates belonged to the genus Pseudomonas, Burkholderia and to the family Enterobacteriaceae. Species isolated in higher percentage were Pseudomonas lutea, Yersinia intermedia and Burkholderia tuberum. The major bacterial population associated to the nematodes differed according to the forest area and none of the isolated bacterial species was found in all different forest areas. For each of the sampled areas, 60 to 100% of the isolates produced siderophores and at least 40% produced lipases. The ability to produce siderophores and lipases by most isolates enables these bacteria to have a role in plant physiological response. This research showed a high diversity of the microbial community associated with B. xylophilus and other nematodes isolated from P. pinaster with PWD.
Pine wilt disease (PWD) is a complex disease integrating three major agents: the pathogenic agent, the pinewood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus; the insect-vector Monochamus spp.; and the host pine tree, Pinus sp. Since the early 80's, the notion that another pathogenic agent, namely bacteria, may play a role in PWD has been gaining traction, however the role of bacteria in PWD is still unknown. The present work supports the possibility that some B. xylophilus-associated bacteria may play a significant role in the development of this disease. This is inferred as a consequence of: (i) the phenotypic characterization of a collection of 35 isolates of B. xylophilus-associated bacteria, in different tests broadly used to test plant pathogenic and plant growth promoting bacteria, and (ii) greenhouse experiments that infer the pathogenicity of these bacteria in maritime pine, Pinus pinaster. The results illustrate the presence of a heterogeneous microbial community associated with B. xylophilus and the traits exhibited by at least, some of these bacteria, appear to be related to PWD symptoms. The inoculation of four specific B. xylophilus-associated bacteria isolates in P. pinaster seedlings resulted in the development of some PWD symptoms suggesting that these bacteria likely play an active role with B. xylophilus in PWD.
To reduce the risks associated with global transport of wood infested with pinewood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, microwave irradiation was tested at 14 temperatures in replicated wood samples to determine the temperature that would kill 99.9968% of nematodes in a sample of ≥ 100,000 organisms, meeting a level of efficacy of Probit 9. Treatment of these heavily infested wood samples (mean of > 1,000 nematodes/g of sapwood) produced 100% mortality at 56 °C and above, held for 1 min. Because this “brute force” approach to Probit 9 treats individual nematodes as the observational unit regardless of the number of wood samples it takes to treat this number of organisms, we also used a modeling approach. The best fit was to a Probit function, which estimated lethal temperature at 62.2 (95% confidence interval 59.0-70.0) °C. This discrepancy between the observed and predicted temperature to achieve Probit 9 efficacy may have been the result of an inherently limited sample size when predicting the true mean from the total population. The rate of temperature increase in the small wood samples (rise time) did not affect final nematode mortality at 56 °C. In addition, microwave treatment of industrial size, infested wood blocks killed 100% of > 200,000 nematodes at ≥ 56 °C held for 1 min in replicated wood samples. The 3rd-stage juvenile (J3) of the nematode, that is resistant to cold temperatures and desiccation, was abundant in our wood samples and did not show any resistance to microwave treatment. Regression analysis of internal wood temperatures as a function of surface temperature produced a regression equation that could be used with a relatively high degree of accuracy to predict internal wood temperatures, under the conditions of this study. These results provide strong evidence of the ability of microwave treatment to successfully eradicate B. xylophilus in infested wood at or above 56 °C held for 1 min.
Pinewood nematode; quarantine; microwave; dielectric heating; international trade; embargo; eradication; Probit 9; International Standard of Phytosanitary Measures No. 15
The fine structure of ash cambium was studied after glutaraldehyde-osmium tetroxide fixation. The fusiform and ray initials are essentially alike, and both have the basic complement of organelles and membranes typical of parenchyma cells. The varied behavior of the two types of initials and the role of cambium in oriented production of the xylem and phloem are still unexplained phenomena. Actively growing cambial cells are highly vacuolate. They are rich in endoplasmic reticulum of the rough cisternal form, ribosomes, dictyosomes, and coated vesicles. Microtubules are present in the peripheral cytoplasm. The plasmalemma appears to be continuous with the endoplasmic reticulum and produces coated vesicles as well as micropinocytotic vesicles with smooth surfaces. The plastids have varying amounts of an intralamellar inclusion which may be a lipoprotein. The quiescent cambium is deficient in rough ER and coated vesicles and has certain structures which may be condensed proteins.