Cronartium ribicola

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Cronartium ribicola is a species of fungus in the family Cronartiaceae. It is most well-known as the causative agent of white pine blister rust, a disease that has caused significant damage to white pine populations in North America.

Taxonomy[edit | edit source]

The species was first described scientifically by J.C. Arthur in 1906. The genus name Cronartium comes from the Greek kronos (time) and artium (parts), referring to the long period of time the fungus spends in its aecial stage. The species name ribicola refers to its association with plants in the genus Ribes.

Life cycle[edit | edit source]

The life cycle of Cronartium ribicola is complex and involves two different host plants. The primary host is a species of white pine, while the secondary host is a plant in the genus Ribes (currants and gooseberries). The fungus produces five different types of spores over the course of its life cycle, which are spread by wind and rain.

Disease symptoms and management[edit | edit source]

Infection by Cronartium ribicola causes a disease known as white pine blister rust. Symptoms include cankers on the trunk and branches, and yellowing and wilting of needles. Management strategies include the removal of infected trees and the planting of resistant varieties.

Impact[edit | edit source]

White pine blister rust has had a significant impact on white pine populations in North America. It has also had economic impacts, as white pines are an important timber species.

See also[edit | edit source]

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