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Dutch elm disease pathogen transmission by the banded elm bark beetle Scolytus schevyrewi

Posted date: June 27, 2013
Publication Year: 
2013
Authors: Jacobi, W. R.; Koski, R. D.; Negron, Jose
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Forest Pathology. 43: 232-237.

Abstract

Dutch Elm Disease (DED) is a vascular wilt disease of Ulmus species (elms) incited in North America primarily by the exotic fungus Ophiostoma novo-ulmi. The pathogen is transmitted via root grafts and elm bark beetle vectors, including the native North American elm bark beetle, Hylurgopinus rufipes and the exotic smaller European elm bark beetle, Scolytus multistriatus. The banded elm bark beetle, Scolytus schevyrewi, is an exotic Asian bark beetle that is now apparently the dominant elm bark beetle in the Rocky Mountain region of the USA. It is not known if S. schevyrewi will have an equivalent vector competence or if management recommendations need to be updated. Thus the study objectives were to: (i) determine the type and size of wounds made by adult S. schevyrewi on branches of Ulmus americana and (ii) determine if adult S. schevyrewi can transfer the pathogen to American elms during maturation feeding. To determine the DED vectoring capability of S. schevyrewi, newly emerged adults were infested with spores of Ophiostoma novo-ulmi and then placed with either in-vivo or in-vitro branches of American elm trees. The inoculation of trees via feeding wounds was successful 30% of the time for in-vivo trials and 33% for in-vitro trials. Although the infection rate of DED has declined in Colorado over the past 10 years, the disease is still present in urban elms. While it appears that S. schevyrewi is another vector of the DED pathogens, it appears that S. schevyrewi is no more efficient than S. multistriatus. Thus, management programs that remove elm bark beetle breeding sites, rapidly remove DED-infected elms and include the planting of DED-resistant elms should continue to be effective management tactics.

Citation

Jacobi, W. R.; Koski, R. D.; Negron, J. F. 2013. Dutch elm disease pathogen transmission by the banded elm bark beetle Scolytus schevyrewi. Forest Pathology. 43: 232-237.