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Genetic variation in Eucalyptus globulus for susceptibility to Mycosphaerella nubilosa and its association with tree growth


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Milgate, AW, Potts, BM, Joyce, K, Mohammed, CL and Vaillancourt, RE 2005 , 'Genetic variation in Eucalyptus globulus for susceptibility to Mycosphaerella nubilosa and its association with tree growth' , Australasian Plant Pathology, vol. 34, no. 1 , pp. 11-18 , doi: 10.1071/AP04073.

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Mycosphaerella species are fungal leaf pathogens of Eucalyptus globulus, one of the major plantation tree species in temperate regions of the world. We examined the quantitative genetic variation in susceptibility to infection by Mycosphaerella nubilosa in a genetically diverse population of E. globulus families growing in a field trial in north-west Tasmania. Disease incidence and severity were assessed on juvenile foliage following a heavy epidemic where mean leaf area damage was 34%. Disease incidence was uniform across the trial. Significant genetic variation for susceptibility was detected with a narrow sense heritability of disease severity being the highest yet reported (h2 = 0.60) for a Mycosphaerella disease of eucalypts. Mycosphaerella nubilosa damage had a significant deleterious impact on tree growth at both the phenotypic and genetic level. We suggest that E. globulus has at least two mechanisms involved in avoiding the deleterious affects of this disease, one is through resistance of the juvenile foliage per se and the other is through the ontogenetic switch to the resistant adult foliage. There is ample opportunity to select genotypes of E. globulus that are relatively resistant to damage and if these are deployed in areas of high disease risk, significant benefits in plantation productivity could be obtained.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Milgate, AW and Potts, BM and Joyce, K and Mohammed, CL and Vaillancourt, RE
Keywords: Disease resistance, eucalypt, heritability
Journal or Publication Title: Australasian Plant Pathology
ISSN: 0815-3191
DOI / ID Number: 10.1071/AP04073
Additional Information:

Copyright © 2005 CSIRO
BM Potts.

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