Studies presented in this dissertation highlight the importance of fungal pathogens in forestry nurseries in South Africa. Both Acacia meamsii seedlings and Eucalyptus hybrid cuttings are shown to be affected by important nursery pathogens. Chapter one presents an evaluation of the potential importance of pathogens to Eucalyptus hedge plants maintained in hydroponics. Hydroponics is a new technology being used in South African forest nurseries, which allows for the rapid establishment of Eucalyptus hedge plants. However, no information is available on pathogens affecting Eucalyptus in hydroponics. By applying information on pathogens of other hydroponic crops, several potentially important pathogens were identified and these reside in the genera Phytophthora, Pythium and Fusarium. Possible disease symptoms in Eucalyptus caused by these pathogens include wilting, stem cankers and root rots. Implementation of appropriate control measures that include cultural, biological and chemical practices could prevent and/or reduce disease impact in hydroponics. Chapter two presents the results of a survey of the roots of Eucalyptus hedge plants grown in an ebb and flow hydroponic system. An interesting result of the survey was the discovery of Cylindrocladium pauciramosum in the hydroponic system. This is the first report of the pathogen in a hydroponic system. Other important pathogens in the genera Phytophthora and Pythium were also isolated. Two Pythium species, namely P. dissotocum and P. helicoids, found in the roots and nutrient solution are new to Eucalyptus. Several Fusarium species were also isolated of which two, namely F. nygamai and F. lateritium, are also new to Eucalyptus. Chapter three of this dissertation presents the results of a survey of Eucalyptus cuttings conducted at four forestry nurseries in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Several well-known Eucalyptus nursery pathogens were isolated. Cylindrocladium pauciramosum was identified as the dominant pathogen on Eucalyptus cuttings. This was confirmed based on morphological characteristics and DNA sequence comparisons. Pathogenicity tests conducted using a spore suspension of C. pauciramosum indicated that this pathogen is capable of infecting most commercial Eucalyptus clones used in South Africa. Chapter four considers a serious disease of Acacia mearnsii seedlings caused by an unidentified species of Cylindrocladium. Cylindrocladium pauciramosum was isolated from A. mearnsii seedlings showing girdling and stem canker symptoms. The pathogen was identified based on morphological characteristics and DNA sequence comparisons. Pathogenicity tests with Acacia seedlings confirmed the susceptibility of this tree to C. pauciramosum infection. This dissertation clearly indicates that Cylindrocladium pauciramosum is an important nursery pathogen in South African forestry nurseries. This pathogen has already been shown to be limiting during production of planting stock. I hope to have highlighted the importance of C. pauciramosum and other nursery pathogens in forestry nurseries in South Africa. This study will also hopefully provide information to forestry nursery managers and help them improve production.
Martinaglia, G.; Pan-African Agricultural and Veterinary Conference (1929 : Pretoria, South Africa)(Union of South Africa, Dept. of Agriculture; Pretoria : University of Pretoria, Dept. of Library Services (Digital publisher), 1930)