Castilleja and Pedicularis are confirmed as telial hosts for white pine blister rust in whitebark pine ecosystems of Oregon and Washington Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/3197xp367

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  • The primary objective of this research was to determine if native species within the genera Castilleja and Pedicularis are naturally infected by white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola) in whitebark pine ecosystems of the Oregon and Washington Cascade Range. Secondary objectives were to monitor the phenology of aecial and telial hosts to determine if there is sufficient time for C. ribicola to complete its lifecycle within high-elevation stands, and to evaluate the extent and variety of susceptible native hosts within these genera through field and growth chamber inoculation. These objectives were approached through fieldwork in 2008 and 2009 in whitebark pine ecosystems at Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, Mt. Bachelor, Tumalo Mtn. and Crater Lake. Forty-nine observational study plots were established (28 in 2008 and 21 in 2009) and monitored three to six times per season. Natural C. ribicola infection was detected on 84 Pedicularis racemosa plants and five Castilleja plants (C. applegatei, C. miniata, and C. parviflora). Field observations provided evidence that there is sufficient time for C. ribicola to complete its lifecycle on hosts within high-elevation whitebark pine stands. In 2009, 18 field inoculation plots were established at Mt. Rainier and Crater Lake. Field inoculation confirmed the susceptibility of two additional species within these genera, C. arachnoidea and P. bracteosa. The species identity of the rust on field specimens was verified through PCR and genetic sequencing of the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of DNA. All four Castilleja species inoculated in the growth chamber developed infection, with an overall infection incidence of 62% (167 out of 270 plants). Improved understanding of the role of these newly recognized hosts in white pine blister rust epidemiology should be used to prioritize sites for the restoration of ecologically-valuable whitebark pine.
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