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Browsing by Subject "Root rot"

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  • Hanström, Neea (2022)
    Heterobasidion genus fungi are the most significant pathogens in Finland causing root rot. These fungi infect Norway spruce (Picea abies), causing wood deficit in the forest industry. Leucoanthosyanidin reductase enzyme encoding gene, PaLAR3, has been linked in to the resistance of Norway spruce against H.parviporum induced root rot infections. The alleles in this locus can be AA, AB or BB, and the enzyme production and (+)-catechin concentrations have been proven to be higher in inoculation experiments in individuals with B allele present in their PaLAR3 locus. Climate change is predicted to increase disturbances in not only on the hydrological cycles, but also on the weather conditions. The drought is predicted to increase in the Northern hemisphere, increasing the risk of pathogens to spread into new areas. Forest breeding programs aim to make the forests more profitable and productive in the future as well. By studying the genetics of Norway spruce, it is possible to add more resilient individuals into the breeding program, to tackle the climate challenges the future might hold. In this Master’s thesis the spreading of the root rot infection under drought stress was studied. The PaLAR3 alleles were determined, and the area of necrosis caused by the fungal infection was compared against the alleles, watering treatments and the fungal strain used in the inoculations. Regarding the results the alleles in an individual’s PaLAR3 locus did not have any effect on the area of the necrosis. There were no statistically significant differences between the watering treatments. The only statistically significant result was that the different fungal strains’ (Hpa1 and Hpa2) infectiveness varied between different watering treatments. This is probably due to the different routes of pathogenesis. Hpa2 strain seems to be more infective in normal watering conditions. However, considering these results the PaLAR3 gene should not be added into the forest breeding program as itself. In the future, the research should focus more on gene interactions, since also other genes (e.g., PaLAC5) have been linked in the resistance against root rot infections in Norway spruce. By studying these genes together, the solutions for the deteriorating situation of the spreading of the fungal diseases could be discovered.