Phlebiopsis gigantea (Fr.) Jül. is one of the most common fungal species in coniferous forests and commonly used as a biological control agent to prevent aerial infections of conifers by Heterobasidion fungi. We used feeding experiments to examine whether Hylobius abietis L. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) could serve as a vector for P. gigantea and associated viruses by disseminating the fungus in its faecal pellets. Two different P. gigantea strains were used in the experiments: the virus-free Rotsop biocontrol strain and P. gigantea 93073 infected with the virus strain PgLV-1. The Rotstop strain showed 100% viability during insect feeding, while the viability of the virus-infected strain 93073 was only 35%. Virus persistence was 100% during the passage of the host fungus through the alimentary tract. Based on growth experiments using virus-infected and virus-free strains obtained by hyphal tip or oidial isolation, the presence of PgLV-1 did not significantly affect the growth rate of the host fungus.
Fields of Science
- 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology
- 4112 Forestry
Drenkhan, T., Kasanen, R. A. O., & Vainio, E. J. (2016). Phlebiopsis gigantea and associated viruses survive passing through the digestive tract of Hylobius abietis. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 26(3), 320-330. https://doi.org/10.1080/09583157.2015.1111998