Phytophthora pinifolia causes the needle and shoot disease of Pinus radiata
known as Daño Foliar del Pino (DFP) in Chile. The first pathogenicity trials with this
organism utilized mycelial plugs placed on stem wounds. These resulted in lesions in the
tissue, but did not reproduce the resinous bands on the needles, which are the most
characteristics symptoms of the disease under natural conditions. In this study, stem
inoculations were repeated, but to complete Koch’s postulates fully, and to confirm that P.
pinifolia causes the symptoms observed on naturally infected trees, zoospore/sporangial
suspensions were used to inoculate pine foliage. This method produced the same
symptoms observed on needles infected naturally. These results confirm that P. pinifolia is
the causal agent of the Daño Foliar del Pino on P. radiata in Chile and successfully
completed Koch`s postulates for the first time. Pathogenicity tests on different Pinus spp.
and hybrids showed a wide range of responses to inoculation with P. pinifolia mycelial
plugs, from highly susceptible to resistant. Monitoring of sporulation revealed that the sporangia commonly remain on the needles for extended periods of time and their
frequency of occurrence and dispersal appear to increase during the rainy season.