Global Geographic Distribution and Host Range of Fusarium circinatum, the Causal Agent of Pine Pitch Canker

R. Drenkhan* (Corresponding Author), Beccy Ganley, Jorge Martin-Garcia, Petr Vahalík, Kalev Adamson, Katarína Adamcíková, Rodrigo Ahumada , Lior Blank, Helena Bragança, Paolo Capretti, Michelle R. Cleary, Carolina Cornejo, Kateryna Davydenko, Julio J. Diez, Hatice Tugba Doğmuş-Lehtijärvi, Milon Dvorák, Rasmus Enderle, Gerda Fourie, Margarita Georgieva, Luisa GhelardiniJarkko Hantula, Renaud Ioos, Eugenia Iturritxa, Loukas Kanetis, Natalia N. Karpun, András Koltay, Elena Landeras, Svetlana Markovskaja, Nebai Mesanza, Ivan Milenkovic, Dmitry L. Musolin, Konstantinos Nikolaou, Justyna A. Nowakowska, Nikica Ogris , Funda Oskay, Tomasz Oszako, I. Papazova-Anakieva, Marius Paraschiv, Matias Pasquali, Francesco Pecori, Trond Rafoss, Kristina Raitelaityte, Rosa Raposo, Cecile Robin, Carlos A. Rodas, Alberto Santini, Antonio V. Sanz Ros, Andrey V. Selikhovkin, Alejandro Solla, Mirkka Soukainen, Nikoleta Soulioti, E. T Steenkamp, Panaghiotis Tsopelas, Aleksandar Vemic, Anna Maria Vettraino, Michael J. Wingfield, Stephen Woodward, Cristina Zamora-Ballesteros, Martin S. Mullett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Fusarium circinatum, the causal agent of pine pitch canker (PPC), is currently one of the most important threats of Pinus spp. globally. This pathogen is known in many pine-growing regions, including natural and planted forests, and can affect all life stages of trees, from emerging seedlings to mature trees. Despite the importance of PPC, the global distribution of F. circinatum is poorly documented, and this problem is also true of the hosts within countries that are affected. The aim of this study was to review the global distribution of F. circinatum, with a particular focus on Europe. We considered (1) the current and historical pathogen records, both positive and negative, based on confirmed reports from Europe and globally; (2) the genetic diversity and population structure of the pathogen; (3) the current distribution of PPC in Europe, comparing published models of predicted disease distribution; and (4) host susceptibility by reviewing literature and generating a comprehensive list of known hosts for the fungus. These data were collated from 41 countries and
used to compile a specially constructed geo-database. A review of 6297 observation records showed that F. circinatum and the symptoms it causes on conifers occurred in 14 countries, including four in Europe, and is absent in 28 countries. Field observations and experimental data from 138 host species revealed 106 susceptible host species including 85 Pinus species, 6 non-pine tree species and 15 grass and herb species. Our data confirm that susceptibility to F. circinatum varies between different host species, tree ages and environmental characteristics. Knowledge on the geographic distribution, host range and the relative susceptibility of different hosts is essential for disease management, mitigation and containment strategies. The findings reported in this review will support countries that are currently free of F. circinatum in implementing effective procedures and restrictions and prevent further spread of the pathogen.
Original languageEnglish
Article number724
Number of pages40
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding: This study was financially supported by COST Action FP1406 (PINESTRENGTH), the Estonian Science Foundation grant PSG136, the Forestry Commission, United Kingdom, the Phytophthora Research Centre Reg. No.
CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000453, a project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. ANSES is supported by a grant managed by the French National Research Agency (ANR) as part of the “Investissements
d’Avenir” programme (ANR-11-LABX-0002-01, Laboratory of ExcellenceARBRE). SW was partly supported by BBSRC Grant reference BB/L012251/1 “Promoting resilience of UK tree species to novel pests & pathogens:
ecological & evolutionary solutions (PROTREE)” jointly funded by BBSRC, Defra, ESRC, the Forestry Commission, NERC and the Scottish Government, under the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative. Annual surveys in Switzerland were financially supported by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment FOEN.
Acknowledgments: Andrea Kunova and Cristina Pizzatti are acknowledged for the assistance in the sampling. Thanks are due to Dina Ribeiro and Helena Marques from ICNF-Portuguese Forest Authority for providing location coordinates. We thank three anonymous reviwers for valuable corrections and suggestions.


  • invasive pathogen
  • climate change
  • interactive map of pathogen
  • susceptibility
  • F SP. PINI
  • Invasive pathogen
  • Susceptibility
  • Climate change
  • Interactive map of pathogen


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