Phytophthora Root Rot Mortality in Fraser Fir Seedlings

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  • 1 North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695

Seventeen-month-old seedlings from three fraser fir (Abies fraseri [Pursh] Poir.) seed sources (Mount Mitchell, Richland Balsam and Roan Mountain) were inoculated in an outdoor lath house with five genotypes of Phytophthora cinnamomi Rands. After 122 days, overall mortality was 90.5% with significant (p ≤ 0.07) differences among seed sources. The Mount Mitchell source had lower mortality (83.2%) than the Roan Mountain source (95.8%), while the Richland Balsam source (92.5%) was intermediate. Mortality curves were developed using nonlinear regression (Richards' function). Due to a significant seed source × inoculum genotype interaction (p ≤ 0.0001), equations were developed for each combination of seed source and inoculum genotype. Results suggest that while the overall frequency of resistance in fraser fir is low, seed sources differ in their frequency of resistance and that more than one resistance gene may be present. Survivors from this or similar inoculations could be cloned via grafting or rooted cuttings for further resistance testing and/or grafted into a Phytophthora-resistant fraser fir seed orchard.

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