Between –site and –year variation in the relative susceptibility of native Scottish Pinus sylvestris populations to dothistroma needle blight.

S. Fraser, M. S. Mullett, S. Woodward, A. V. Brown

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Dothistroma needle blight (DNB), caused by Dothistroma septosporum, is currently the disease causing most concern in British pine plantations. Previous artificial inoculation (AI) experiments showed that native Scottish Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) populations vary in susceptibility to DNB. However, it is unclear if the relative susceptibility of Scots pine populations observed in these experiments can be replicated under natural conditions. It is also unknown whether relative susceptibility of Scots pine populations varies between sites or years. To answer these two questions, young Scots pine plants from six native Scottish populations (Abernethy, Allt Broighleachan, Amat, Beinn Eighe, Glen Cannich and Glen Loyne) were exposed to natural D. septosporum inoculum at two Scottish sites (Culbin and Torrs Warren) between 2012 and 2014. DNB disease incidence and severity was assessed each October. Relative susceptibilities of the Scots pine populations varied between sites and across years. In two of the three years at Torrs Warren (2012 and 2014), the relative susceptibilities of the populations were strongly positively correlated with those observed in previous AI experiments. In these years, trees from Glen Loyne and Glen Cannich were the most susceptible. Conversely, there was no correlation between the relative susceptibilities seen in any year at Culbin with those observed in AI experiments. At Culbin, Beinn Eighe was the most susceptible population. Across both sites, there was a strong positive relationship between total summer precipitation and DNB severity (R = 0·93, t = 8·2, P = 0·001).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-379
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Pathology
Issue number3
Early online date29 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by funding from the ScottishForestry Trust, Forestry Commission and Forest Enter-prise Scotland and forms research towards the PhD ofS.F. Technical assistance of Hedda Weitz and membersof the Forest Research Technical Support Unit is grate-fully acknowledged. Permission to access field sites wasgiven by Galloway, Moray and Aberdeenshire andNorth Highlands Forest Enterprise Districts. Weatherdata were provided by Paul Taylor, Forest Research.Comments by two anonymous reviewers improved thispaper greatly.


  • Dothistroma septosporum
  • intraspecific variation
  • local adaptation
  • resistance
  • susceptibility


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