Canadian Forest Service Publications

Life cycle of Arceuthobium americanum on Pinus banksiana based on inoculations in Edmonton, Alberta. 2006. Brandt, J.P. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36(4): 1006-1016.

Year: 2006

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26142

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (request by e-mail)

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While lodgepole pine dwarf mistletoe, Arceuthobium americanum Nutt. ex Engelm., is one of the most damaging pests of jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) in western Canada, no studies have examined the life cycle of this parasite in this pathosystem. Twenty-five jack pine trees in a plantation in Edmonton, Alberta, were inoculated with seeds of A. americanum in the fall of 1998 and 1999; these inoculants were monitored until the dwarf mistletoe plants that arose completed their life cycle. Ninety-two percent of inoculated seeds overwintered on their host. Seventy percent of these seeds germinated, mostly in May. Of these germinants, 69% developed holdfasts. Sixty-eight percent of germinants that developed holdfasts infected their host and produced shoots, primarily between July and August in the second season after inoculation. Of the 56 plants that developed from the 175 inoculations, 34 were pistillate plants and 19 were staminate plants, and 3 immature plants died because the host branch died. Pistillate plants flowered significantly earlier than staminate plants (4.1 vs. 4.7 years). Most pistillate plants produced seed in the fifth year, although one plant produced seed in 4 years. Thus, A. americanum probably has a 5-year life cycle on jack pine.