Eucalyptus trees (primarily E. globulus and E. grandis) are planted widely in Uruguay and products from these trees are important to the economy of the country. In recent years there has been an explosive increase in the area planted to Eucalyptus. With increased planting there have been increases in diseases affecting the trees. Pathogens such as Ceratocystis fimbriata, Coniothyrium zuluense, Botryosphaeria dothidea, Cylindrocladium spp., Puccinia psidii and Mycosphaerella spp. have been reported in Uruguay causing serious problems. For most of these pathogens, little is known about their biology, population structure and epidemiology in Uruguay.
Eucalyptus are exotic species and some of the pathogens affecting them are also exotic but some trees native to Uruguay (primarily in the Myrtaceae) could also harbor native fungi that could become pathogens affecting Eucalyptus. Our investigations have already found many new fungi not previously reported in Uruguay causing disease. Studies to identify and better understand their biology are underway.
This new research will provide needed information on the pathogens affecting Eucalyptus so more effective control of these diseases can be obtained. Investigations to better understand the genetic structure of pathogen populations will lead to more effective use of resistant materials and more effective management of these tree diseases.
This project at the University of Minnesota is being carried out as an international cooperative program with the Department of Plant Protection at the University of Uruguay, Professor Michael Wingfield, Director of Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria, South Africa, and Dr. Nora Altier, Plant Protection, INIA, Las Brujas, Uruguay. Cooperation from the forest products industry in Uruguay includes Colonvade S.A. and Forestal Oriental S.A.
Perez, C. A., M. J. Wingfield, N. Altier and R. A. Blanchette. 2013. Species of Mycosphaerellaceae and Teratosphaeriaceae on native Myrtaceae in Uruguay: evidence of fungal host jumps. Fungal Biology 117:94-102. Reprint
Perez, C. A., M. J. Wingfield, N. A. Altier, S. Simeto and R. A. Blanchette. 2010. Puccinia psidii infecting cultivated Eucalyptus and native myrtaceae in Uruguay. Mycological Progress 10:273-280 (Reprint available from the journal at doi 10.1007/s11557-010-0698-x)
Perez, C. A., M. J. Wingfield, N. A. Altier and R. A. Blanchette. 2009. Mycosphaerellaceae and Teratosphaeriaceae associated with Eucalyptus leaf diseases and stem cankers in Uruguay. Forest Pathology 39: 349-360. Reprint
Perez, C. A., M. J. Wingfield, B. Slippers, N. A. Altier and R. A. Blanchette. 2009. Neofusicoccum eucalyptorum, a Eucalyptus pathogen, on native Myrtaceae in Uruguay. Plant Pathology 58:964-970. Reprint available from the journal web site.
Perez, C. A., N. Altier, S. Simeto, M. J. Wingfield, B. Slippers and R. A. Blanchette. 2008. Botryosphaeriaceae from Eucalyptus and Native Myrtaceae in Uruguay. Agrociencia 12:19-30. Reprint
Perez, C. A., Z. W. de Beer, N. A. Altier, M. J. Wingfield and R. A. Blanchette. 2008. Discovery of the eucalypt pathogen Quambalaria eucalypti infecting a non-Eucalyptus host in Uruguay. Australasian Plant Pathology 37: 600-604. Reprint available from the journal web site.
Eucalytus plantation in Tacuarembo, Uruguay
Poor growing diseased Eucalyptus trees (left) and superior trees selected for resistance (right) show the importance of research to identify trees that are resistant to pathogen attack.
Cross section of a Eucalyptus tree with large canker