Phlebiopsis gigantea and associated viruses survive passing through the digestive tract of Hylobius abietis

Tiia Drenkhan, Risto Aarne Olavi Kasanen, Eeva J. Vainio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiocontrol Science and Technology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)320-330
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology
  • 4112 Forestry

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